Saturday, 22 October 2011

BLUESKIN RESILIENT COMMUNITIES TRUST

by PJ Clarke

New Zealand has had a pretty good party over the last couple of
months. Now parties of a different nature are demanding our attention.
Politicians of various hues assure us that the way ahead for New
Zealand is a return to growth, unbridled consumption and continuing
reliance on old, dirty technologies. Such 'business as usual'
assurances are at best questionable and are arguably misleading and
dishonest, however seductive they may seem.

For an alternative, positive view of New Zealand's future, check out
Dr Janet Stephenson's article in issue 30 of the University of Otago
Magazine, available online at www.otago.ac.nz/news/otagomagazine/.

Janet, a Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) supporter, argues
that New Zealand has 'a huge opportunity to build on our natural
advantages'. One such advantage is our relatively high availability of
renewable energy. Initiatives like the Blueskin Energy Project (BEP)
give communities means to provide for their future energy needs by
pursuing energy efficiency and renewable generation under local rather
than corporate control. Other projects in the Blueskin area are
developing food and transport security.

A long-term BRCT goal is to facilitate autonomous local ventures
through the development of social enterprises. A social enterprise
delivers social and environmental outcomes but is organised and
managed as a business. This may be an appropriate model for the
Blueskin Energy Project.

The recent BEP Open Days demonstrated strong local interest in
sustainability and community resilience. Trustees involved in the
events were impressed by the turnout, the enthusiasm, and particularly
the quality of the questions, ideas, critiques and discussion
contributed by those attending.

The BRCT/BEP office at Waitati School receives regular enquiries about
energy issues. BRCT has submitted a funding request to the Dunedin
City Council to allow us to trial a Community Energy Advisory Service.
A DCC committee will consider the application in November. If the
application is successful, another staff member will join the BRCT
team.

BRCT supports the very successful Waitati Open Orchards group and
recently transferred funds applied for under the BRCT mandate into
WOO's control.

The Waikouaiti Coast Community Board contributed $862.50 to the
Blueskin Energy Project's recent community engagement. Trustees
appreciate WCCB members' interest in BRCT projects and their support
in the current difficult funding environment.

BRCT trustees have had much to celebrate this past month. Chris
Skellett launched a new book 'When Happiness is Not Enough' to great
acclaim and nationwide interest. Antony Deaker and Mikaela Wilson
celebrated the arrival of a healthy new addition to the Deaker-Wilson
household on 19 October. Well done to all!

As always, BRCT welcomes any feedback on its activities and offers of
assistance. One of the best ways to find out more about BRCT is to
talk with trustees, or contact Scott at the BRCT office. BRCT trustees
and officers are Lynnaire Johnston, PJ Clarke, Antony Deaker, Ross
Johnston, Tony Wilson, Gerry Carrington and Chris Skellett. Jeanette
Fitzsimons is the trust's patron. You can find out more about the
trust, including contact details, at: http://www.blueskinpower.co.nz/


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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
From blueskin.co.nz 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 "blueskin.co.nz".

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