June/ July 2017

Swiss Army Knife Open 1024x912Most major social changes come from the bottom up. When enough people get in behind an idea governments follow. We’ve recently taken part in the launch of “Our Climate Declaration”, a citizen led initiative aiming to create local climate change plans. It was inspiring to recognize many good initiatives underway all around the country. In our patch we had a very productive ‘Building Community Resilience’ meeting and workshop at the end of May that helped to identify common community themes and ambitions (see the report by Anna). Our great thanks to Eugenie Sage MP who shared her experience of the emergency response in Christchurch, and to Waitati School. We’re planning further workshops later in the year and developing new partnerships to advance actions.

The Advisory Board for the Climate Safe House project comes together in July to go over the research results and set new priorities. We’ve received 61 responses to our survey, completed 12 interviews and conducted 4 Cosy Homes Assessments in homes in the proposed flood hazard zones. We aim to do more Cosy Homes Assessments and more interviews before we wrap up the research. We’ve worked closely with our partner the Otago Polytechnic and the 3rd year Design Students have completed a further set of designs that we’ll display in a second exhibition later in the year. Now we aim to get the detailed design underway. All this information means we’re able to contribute to a national discussion coordinated by the Motu Research Institute on how climate change may impact on coastal and flood prone settlements. If you want to learn a bit about the Climate Safe House project go to the website, where there’s a short movie and lots of information: www.climatesafehouse.nz or look on YouTube for “In the flood zone”.

It’s been a relatively mild winter so far – might be a good time to plan ahead. We can supply bulk logs for those who don’t mind preparing their own firewood. And it will be well seasoned firewood by next winter. Similarly, if you are seeking insulation, we have can supply mammoth insulation at a good price if you are able to do the installation yourself.

Our Annual General Meeting is coming up soon, look out for the notice in the Blueskin News and online. This is a great opportunity for those who want to find out more about the Trust and our activities and everyone is most welcome. We have a special speaker this year and will have plenty of time for discussion. Meanwhile, take a look at the latest Cuppa Tea article on our website. Chris Perley explains “The Vogon Technocrat” and I’ll leave it at that – you’ll have to read it yourself if you want to know more!

Citizens around the world are shaking off apathy and getting involved in positive actions to provide climate solutions. We always welcome anyone interested in being part of the solution and you can find us on Waitati School grounds in the old dental clinic. We also provide a Cosy Energy Advice service, a Cosy Homes Assessment service (always in demand) and a Healthy Rental Certification service for all of Dunedin city. Look us up on Facebook as Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, on Twitter as @BlueskinPower and you can call the office on 03 4822048 directly to find out more about any of our work. For free Cosy Energy Advice, local call 929 1323. You can also contact us by email at: office@brct.org.nz.

By Scott Willis