May/ June 2017

2016 02 15 035Winter biting? Remember that the Trust can provide quotes for insulation and bulk firewood. We’re also the local outlet for Honeywraps and can help banish plastic wrapping from your kitchen. These wraps are made of reusable organic cotton impregnated with a blend of beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil – a great alternative to plastic.  

We try to keep up to date with the latest advances in building technology so Kat attended the Eco Design Advisors conference in Wellington. Innovation in design for a warm, dry, healthy and efficient home, ways to reduce the cost of building and energy bills, ideas to lower environmental impact, and ways to future proof homes were all part of the conference. The Trust’s provision of Cosy Energy Advice and Cosy Home Assessments requires us to keep abreast of all such developments. We are working closely with the Cosy Homes Trust to provide these front-line services.

Our Climate Safe House project is gathering pace. There are two elements to the project. We are designing, and will then construct a Climate Safe House but at the same time we’re trying to establish how vulnerable parts of Blueskin are to climate change. We don’t want people to invest their money in something that will one day be drowned. We are mid-way through our Climate Safe House research but we already have gained valuable insights. For example, preliminary results highlight the fact that most homes we’ve looked at experience moisture issues and few are thermally efficient – ie a lot of energy is required to keep the place warm. Many are considering moving out of the flood hazard zone. Very few think government is doing enough to address the risk.

We continue to put our case to the appropriate authorities to get changes made. This past month we’ve submitted on the DCC’s Annual Plan and spoken to the Government Administration Select Committee on the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No.2) in Wellington. We made the point that quality housing provides a great public benefit - it reduces the burden on our health system, it reduces poverty and inequality, and reduces the need for social services.

By the time you read this, we will have held our “Building Community Resilience” public meeting with Eugenie Sage MP as guest speaker. Unfortunately we weren’t able to confirm dates early enough to advertise in the Blueskin News but word has already gone out far and wide and we’re expecting a great event. As a way of getting you thinking, check out the latest fascinating Cuppa Tea article by Stephanie Pole, “Are you a hippy?” which details life in a housing co-op.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, whether it’s for our services and advice, whether you’re looking to purchase Honeywraps or insulation, after help with your community projects, or just to have a friendly ear to talk to. 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 03 929 1323. You can contact us by email at:

By Scott Willis