Saturday, 20 November 2010


by Scott Willis
Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) was established in 2008 to assist groups and individuals in Blueskin Bay communities address the opportunities and vulnerabilities associated with climate change and peak oil. Currently its main community project is the Waitati Energy Project and Blueskin Power. It is also currently providing umbrella service to Waitati Edible Gardeners, Get-The-Train, and Blueskin Low Oil Commuting, and seeks opportunities to foster community spirit and grow community capacity. BRCT currently has only one employee (myself); there are volunteers who help oil the BRCT machine (more of a simple and effective bicycle really), volunteers and contractors who run the initiatives BRCT helps with, a strong and passionate community that generously lends its experience and assets, and of course BRCT trustees and officers (Lynnaire Johnston, Antony Deaker, Simon Sheppard, Ross Johnston, Tony Wilson and Gerry Carrington), and our new patron, Jeanette Fitzsimons.


BRCT is now in the process of planning a move to new premises at Waitati School early in the new year. We've been strongly supported by Mark and Rayna Dickson since 2009 with office space in the Old Waitati Stores, and we still get people coming in the door asking, 'Are you a shop? What do you do here?'. This is Blueskin's first ever community office and while we currently have great 'main street' presence, the move to new premises is part of a longer-term strategy to streamline functioning, strengthen collaborative partnerships, build greater efficiency and provide hub services. We're very excited to be relocating to a dynamic community/school hub (with Waitati School growing further with the relocation of Blueskin Play Centre), while having the opportunity to share resources and information with greater ease. I am looking forward to this exciting new stage for BRCT and I want to thank Mark and Rayna for helping establish BRCT's first community office.


At the date of writing, BRCT is working on strategic planning to provide clear direction for the short, mid and long term. Planning will culminate with a BRCT strategic workshop, with all trustees, officers and staff, on the weekend of 27-28 November at Waitati School.


Meanwhile, on behalf of the trust and in conjunction with the Waitati School PTA, Laurence Hay is working on a long overdue community telephone directory. The ultimate community resource, once complete this will be made available for all Blueskin communities not covered in other directories. Of course for civil defence purposes it helps to have a local directory, but it's even more valuable in making it easy for us to be more connected and aware of who is in our own neighbourhoods, and how to get in touch (or get connected if we're new to the community).


Over summer I'll be hosting Seth Gorrie in the BRCT office.  Seth is doing some research on community perspectives around Blueskin Power and will have the office to use if needed.


More information on the trust's vision, mission, objectives and activities is available on the Transition Waitati webpage: or by contacting me on 03 4822048.


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From and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media: voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff, Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand. All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished. If you want to credit the source it's "".

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