August 2014

2 Degrees Poster What can I do.V2 finalOn the 9th of August we hosted the climate justice film "2 Degrees" in Waitati Hall. The event was very well attended by over 55 people with a great glow of ideas. Co-producer Ange Palmer introduced the film, and afterwards talked about the back-story, and how we as individuals and community can take charge. Community ideas included solar on prominent public buildings (the BRCT roof!), improving public transport and electrifying it, getting involved in action against oil exploration and for clean energy, and a clear rational in favour of clean fuels as a solution. Our thanks to Nathan Parker, Chris Freear, Alaisdair Morrison, Helen Beamish, Jenna Packer, Bruno Willis, Kate and Juergen Gnoth, and everyone else who made it such a great community evening and helped out.

By the time people read this we will be prepping our 'Turn on the Sun' party, as our generous community and friends have been making pledges and spreading the word and we're now confident we'll get there. We anticipate installation getting underway in the first week of September - keep an eye out.

Our Blueskin Food System Assessment project is at a very exciting stage.  The interviews, focus groups and questionnaires that we conducted over the past few months have given us an in depth understanding of our communities’ experiences, and helped develop ideas and initiatives regarding the current and potential future local food system.  We have collated and analyzed the information and would like to have your input once again.  We will be holding 3 meetings to discuss the most popular ideas from the research, presented as viable local food initiatives in the area.  We have fleshed out your ideas, providing a structure and an assessment of how we think they may work, and also what the weaknesses or strengths of each opportunity may be.  Now we would love your feedback and critique of these. The meetings also provide an opportunity for individuals to present any further ideas.  We are holding the first at Karitane School on Tuesday 2nd September, Waitati School on Wednesday 3rd September and Purakaunui School on Thursday 4th September.  All are from 5:30-7:30pm, we hope to see you there.

Our Home Performance Assessment service is being appreciated, and is growing as the word spreads about the value of high quality, individualised advice, and the robust set of recommendations and actions received in a Home Performance Assessment report. This is one of the ways we are supporting Cosy Homes and independent expert advice one of the key elements we know is essential to change the energy culture and reduce fuel poverty. As a Community Energy Network member we are now exploring CEN opportunities to participate in a national buying group for clean tech products, with a view to them being offered to the community - stay tuned!

In preparation now at BRCT are two submissions, one on the regional transport plan, the other on 'Natural Hazards' (part of the Second Generation District Plan development - 2GP). Among visitors this past month was Kent Chalmers of City Forests, with us to talk about what the Silverpeaks can offer in terms of a community firewood source.

BRCT's 'Cuppa Tea' this month is very apt. "Why the future begins in Blueskin Bay" uses the metaphor of the community dance, the same month that Waitati School's sesqui-centennial celebrations demand we get out the glad rags, to look at system change. This is highly recommended reading from Colin Campbell-Hunt, entertaining, topical and thought-provoking all in one!