Saturday, 24 March 2012

Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust

On Monday March 19 Nicole Foss spoke at the Waitati Hall. Nicole is an internationally recognised commentator on the world economy, financial systems, peak oil and climate change. She and her colleague Raul Meijer are on a lecture tour of New Zealand and BRCT hosted Nicole and Raul during their time in Dunedin. Nicole also spoke to the Dunedin City Council, the Otago Chamber of Commerce and delivered a lecture at the University of Otago.

We were lucky to have an expert of Nicole's calibre in the Blueskin area. Her lecture wasn't easy going. It was an exceptionally clear, unflinchingly honest and impeccably researched explanation of the way the world is, rather than the way might we wish it to be.

Charles Abraham, Jackie Fanning and Murray Grimwood provided astute local perspectives on the big-picture issues Nicole described. Thanks as well to Hank Rebman, Sue Hensley, Annie Stuart, Helen Beamish, Carl Scott, Nathan Surendran and everyone else who helped with the evening.

If you missed Nicole's lecture, check out her website You'll find information there you won't get from commercial TV, mainstream media or politicians.

Nicole Foss didn't have much joyful news, but she did have a constructive message: we need to prepare ourselves, our families and our communities for disruptive change. She reminded us that complacency is a trap. We can't prepare for change too early, but we can be too late.  

To cope with the difficulties ahead, we need to develop local food and energy production and means of providing services that local and central government may not be able to deliver in the future. BRCT was set up to advocate for and support that sort of work. Resilience is about being able to cope with change.

We're not helpless. We're lucky we live in a part of the world where we still have options, and we have skilled, hardworking people who are willing to do their bit for our community. Good things are already happening in the Blueskin area but there is more to be done, and soon.

Waitati Open Orchards and Waitati Edible Gardeners are doing great work. They often need a helping hand. At present most of BRCT's resources are allocated to developing the Blueskin Energy Project, but BRCT will still welcome requests for, and offers of assistance.

To find out about BRCT, talk with trustees or contact Scott at the trust office. BRCT trustees are Ross Johnston, PJ Clarke, Antony Deaker, Tony Wilson, Gerry Carrington, Chris Skellett and Kate Parker. Jeanette Fitzsimons is the trust's patron. You can also find out more about the trust at: or by calling 482 2048.

Doom and gloom aside, getting involved in community projects can be an enjoyable experience. Get involved. If the hard times don't arrive, you won't have lost much, and you may have had some fun.


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