April/ May 2017 News

Painted Blind, at the Grass-Roots Get Together 2017

We’re very pleased to welcome two new volunteers on board. Rachael and Will are both at the University of Otago and are giving much needed support to the Climate Safe House project. Our operational team continues to expand, and this is necessary as the workload around our three projects (our Blueskin turbine, the Climate Safe House project and our local smart grid) is also increasing while demand for services shows no sign of dropping off either.

Our thanks to the A&P Society for putting on some great weather for the A&P Show this year. It is great to see so many community organisations and services present and our tent was busy with enquiries. We registered particular interest in our Blueskin turbine and the Environment Court process, in the Climate Safe House project, in insulation and in honeywraps. There was also a great gathering of Electric Vehicle owners at one point and a discussion about which was the best investment for the planet and the pocket right now: solar PV or an EV?

April and May are two months of the year where a lot of paperwork is required. Its when our accounts get audited and when we prepare the Annual Report and Annual Plan. It is always a good time to review how well we’ve gone and look at our successes and challenges. We are working hard to fund an additional staff position at the Trust to manage the free Cosy Energy Advice, Home Performance Assessment service and Healthy Rental Certification service as the combined workload here has become quite intense. That’s a good sign in general as it signals a shifting energy culture in the community towards valuing warm and cosy homes and an interest in saving our energy dollar.

The Grass-Roots Get Together on the 19th of March was a wonderful event, and our sincere thanks to our hosts, Metiria Turei and Worik Stanton for opening up Almond Castle for the event and being so welcoming. It was bands Painted Blind and Whiskey and the Wench with great music, MC Metiria, Auctioneer Extraordinaire Mandy, the scarey Dragon Man and Bifur the Dwarf who all made it such a rousing day and of course it was everyone who attended who made it so much fun. We are planning further community events through the year around the theme of building resilience through community action.

Remember to contact us for:

  • Free Cosy Energy Advice, local call 03 929 1323
  • Home Performance Assessments: energy assessments of your home
  • Healthy Rental Certification: an assessment of compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act
  • Affordable firewood and insulation for individuals and groups.

We also sell Honeywraps – reusable organic cotton food wraps impregnated a blend of beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil. It's a small but practical way to reduce waste and limit plastic pollution. There are a number of Cuppa Tea articles lined up to be published on the website looking at cooperative housing, water issues and more. We’re preparing a submission on the DCC’s Annual Plan and we continue to advocate in a number of forums for greater climate action.

We stock Honeywraps at the BRCT office, at Waitati School 1121 Mt Cargill Road and thanks to Hilary and Alex, you can also find them at Roadside Attraction on Harvey Street, but you can see us about anything else by visiting. 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. You can also contact us by email at: office@brct.org.nz.

By Scott Willis