Painting our billboard

First post from the Fincham/Gavin/Matai Road Greener Neighbourhoods group! Our neighbourhood is a triangle of these three roads (only a little section of Matai) in Raumati, a 1950s subdivsion on a sandhill, backing onto pony fields. Our group has residents new and very long-term, young and old. We’re still figuring out what we’re going to do but we’ve made a start, with a water meter workshop in July and now our billboard.

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Greener Neighbourhoods are go!

Best group photoThanks to everyone who came out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to celebrate the Greener Neighbourhoods 2014/15 launch with us. We were lucky enough to have the use of St Peters hall in Paekakariki, so for many of our attendees it was a leisurely stroll straight from their gardens.

With about 40 people present, three of our four groups were represented – the Tilley Triangle and Ocean Square (both from Paekakariki), and our Raumati Beach crew. Neighbours from Toroa Road, Otaihanga, were at home recuperating from winter ailments and had spent the previous afternoon meeting for the first time.

We were also joined by the lovely folk from Ames Street who were ‘Kāpiti Coast’s Greenest Neighbourhood 2014’ and whose home turf we were gathering on, the legendary Geoff from Wellington Road (the gentle force behind Wellington Road’s Rat Pack and a key member of their Composting Club in 2012/13), and Council support staff – Hannah Zwartz, the Green Gardener, Simon Calcinai, the Waste Minimisation Officer, and Jake Roos, Senior Advisor on Climate Change and Energy. Continue reading

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Greener Neighbourhoods are gathering

The new-look Greener Neighbourhoods initiative is preparing to launch this weekend with four keen groups participating. We’ve got two in Paekākāriki – too big and spread out to be one group but planning to work together where they can – another in Raumati and a fourth in Otaihanga.

Maybe “launch” is a bit on the formal side, as these groups have mostly all got together already and are getting underway with their plans. Perhaps it’s the official welcome and celebration. Councillor Diane Amundsen will be there in the stead of Mayor Ross Church to wish them well, as will some of the judges and participants from previous incarnations of this project. No doubt there will be plenty of networking and story-telling going on over the cuppas and cake.

The new model with its smaller entry group – a minimum of five households – and relaxed neighbourhood boundaries is proving popular. Neighbourhood sizes start at five households, though most are over a dozen, with more joining in as they see that it’s not that scary. The relaxed geographical boundaries have been a benefit in this way – we’re seeing a trend towards blocks of joined-up streets, which should make for some social walks around the block in the future.

And our lovely support people have been as generous with their time as ever. Thanks to all of you. This year we are asking all groups to participate in five compulsory activities, and then giving them a bunch of interest-based optionals.

Compulsory

  • Ecological footprinting ǀ Stacey Gasson, Council’s Sustainable Communities Coordinator
  • Reduce your waste with a waste audit ǀ Simon Calcinai, Council’s Waste Minimisation Officer
  • Nutrient Recycling ǀ Hannah Zwartz, Council’s Green Gardener
  • Liquid gold: smart water use and water conservation ǀ Ben Thompson, Council’s Water Use Advisor
  • Warmer, drier and healthier homes with Home Eco Design ǀ Richard Morrison, Council’s Eco Design Advisor
  • Civil Defence Challenge ǀ Scott Dray, Wellington Emergency Management Office ǀ 26 – 28 November

Optional

  • Biodiversity in your backyard ǀ Rob Cross, Council’s Biodiversity Advisor
  • Free in-home visit: make your home warmer, drier, healthier and more cost-efficient ǀ Richard Morrison, Council’s Eco-Design Advisor
  • Sustainable and Waterwise Gardening Advice ǀ Hannah Zwartz, Council’s Green Gardener ǀ Workshops available include building a biodigester; crop rotation and companion planting; seed sowing; basic permaculture design; basic seed saving; green manures, mulch and no-dig gardening; fruit tree pruning and companion planting; top ten herbs for Kāpiti; seasonal crops; growing plants from cuttings; natural pest and disease control; growing great citrus; and drought-tolerant landscaping.
  • What could sustainable living look like? ǀ Professor Brenda Vale, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Controlling Pest Animals ǀ Geoff Osgood, Paekakariki Rat Pack
  • Predator trapping ǀ Department of Conservation ǀ Wednesday 27 August, 1 – 3pm ǀ Rotary Hall at Kāpiti Community Centre, Ngahina Place, Paraparaumu
  • Make your own eco-cleaners ǀ Daisy Wood and Stacey Gasson
  • Build a Solar Cooker ǀ Geoff Benge
  • Keeping Bees ǀ Pete Mackie
  • Getting to school the active way ǀ Brent Cherry, Council’s School Travel Planner

So as of next week it’s all go! If you’d like to receive fresh updates directly to your email inbox, we’d love you to sign up to follow the blog. Watch this space as the adventures begin and prepare to be inspired.

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Funding the future: find out about divestment & ethical investment

Let’s talk about divestment and ethical investment

Presenter: Ashlee Gross, 350 Aotearoa

Wednesday 20 August, 7pm at Kapiti College mezzanine (above hall), Margaret Rd, Raumati Beach

Find out about a rapidly growing global movement that’s tackling climate change from a new angle. Students, customers and members are asking their institutions, from universities to banks, to pension funds, to stop investing their money in fossil fuel companies.

Nearly 100 organisations worldwide have already committed to divest, and with recent announcements from the Dunedin City Council and the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, the movement has solidly spread to New Zealand.

Join 350 Aotearoa (350.org.nz) for an evening talk and Q&A on the ethical argument for divestment, how it helps tackle climate change, an overview of what’s happening globally, and to find out how you can get involved in New Zealand, including through talking to your KiwiSaver provider, university or other institutions you’re a part of.

RSVP if you can to Ashlee@350.org.nz or turn up anyway.

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Inspiring communities workshop

Community led development workshop

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