This week’s newsletter highlights quite a few interesting events in the run-up to Christmas, plus some great ideas for visiting Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua over the holidays for a low impact, local day-trip or overnight stay, with the opportunity to help with native tree planting.
Also, please note the important Dunedin City Council ‘seeking of views’ on oil and gas exploration off the Otago coast (see section 4 below). This invitation to comment closes on Friday 5th December.
Ngā mihi, Simonne
1. Sustainable Dunedin City news and events
Sustainable Dunedin City Society is made up of persons who are interested in the issues of climate change, declining energy security and sustainability, as they affect Dunedin City. The Society is not affiliated with any political party and aims to facilitate a positive, secure and sustainable future for Dunedin City. For more information or to join go to www.sustainabledunedincity.org.nz
Sustainable Dunedin City runs Big Green Challenge, an annual grant scheme for environmental projects around the city. The ten successful projects for 2014 are listed on our website here. They include Generation Zero, for workshops to engage students in climate change issues, Volunteering Otago, for preserving and baking workshops and various community garden schemes.
If you are a Facebook user you can follow the progress of the various projects on Dunedin’s Big Green Challenge Facebook page. There will also be updates on the Sustainable Dunedin City website from time to time.
Thursday 27th November, 5:30 pm
(last Thursday of month)
THE BOG – upstairs. Corner of George and London Sts.
Topic this month:Open Session. Please come along, share your news/issues plus your wish for topics and speakers in 2015. Newcomers welcome.
GreenDrinks Dunedin is part of the non-political international movement Green Drinks whose focus is to provide a relaxed space for people interested in sustainability and the environment to meet and get together.
Green Drinks Dunedin is hosted in Dunedin by Sustainable Dunedin City. For more information or to get on the mailing list pleaseemail Maureen Howard, GreenDrinks Dunedin Coordinator on email@example.com
Thursday 18th December, 7:30 pm
(Third Thurs/ month)
GreenDrinks Port Chalmers
The Portsider in Port Chalmers
Topic this month: To be confirmed
2. Other new events
Wednesday 26th November, 7.30pm
Oceania voices on the environment
St Patrick’s Church, 32 Macandrew Rd, South Dunedin.
A discussion of Caritas Aotearoa/New Zealand’s recent report on the impact of climate change on individuals in Oceania. Led by report author Martin de Jong, with Nicky Chapman.
Thursday 27th November, 11am
Seniors for Carbon Neutrality
Green Party office Level 5, Burns House, Cnr Octagon and George Street (but it is not a Green Party event)
An initial meeting to explore the possibility of setting up a community group for older people to discuss how they can contribute to a sustainable future, particularly through sharing their values of community, love of nature and self-sufficiency with grandchildren and great-nieces/nephews. Email Donna Peacock firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend or have more information about the group.
Friday 28th November, 8.45am – 5pm
Otago Energy Research Centre Symposium
Arana College, University of Otago
Free symposium showcasing a range of current and potential research being conducted in Otago in the areas of energy use, efficiency and climate change. Guest speaker: Dr Ben Anderson, University of Southampton, UK
See http://www.otago.ac.nz/oerc/ for more information.
Monday 1st December, 4.0pm
Wise Response – Special General Meeting
Centre for Sustainability, 530 Castle Street, Dunedin
Wise Response is an organisation calling on the government to carry out an assessment of the risks for New Zealand associated with climate change, the current financial system and other unsustainable practices. More information at http://wiseresponse.org.nz/. Wise Response is supported by Sustainable Dunedin City, among others.
3. Ongoing activities
Eco Living in Action, Thursdays, 2.30-3pm. On Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Tune in or check out previous shows on the OAR website at www.oar.org.nz/podcasts.
STOP (Save The Otago Peninsula) Inc Soc regular working bees on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Broad Bay area.
One is a freshwater creek enhancement project and the other is in a DOC Scientific Reserve. There is sometimes transport available from town on the Thursday morning. Other working bees are held as required in the evenings in summer and in the weekend. For more details, contact Lala Frazer, phone 478 0339, or text mobile 021 20 999 74, or email email@example.com
Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua – special Christmas events and activities
Contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 027 779 5481 about all of these:
1. The ideal Christmas gift….Treat your friends and family to an island retreat or adventure!
Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua is so close (no long tiring drive) and yet so far away from the bustle of life on the mainland. You can relax in beautiful surroundings, or be active- helping with our tree revegetation work or other projects. Beautiful gift vouchers available for return boat transport on the Vivienne J ($10 per person), and/or for overnight accommodation in the lodge ($15 per adult; $12 per student; $10 per child). Vouchers will be posted with a colour brochure about the island. They can be redeemed at Community weekends, usually the last Saturday of the month; or as part of a group organised by the recipient. Valid until Dec 31st 2015. Contact Kristen to discuss redeeming your voucher or check out our website quarantineisland.org.nz
2. Saturday 13th December is our St Martin Island Community Christmas party on the Island.
We hope you can join us to relax and celebrate! Bring yummy food to share, warm clothes, $10 for the boat and your koha for the Island. Boat from Back Beach, Port Chalmers at 2pm, returning 8.30pm, or stay overnight. Pick up also possible on the peninsula side. Bookings required.
3. Looking for something fun to do after Christmas/in January? We can organise boat transport to the Island for groups of friends and family. Bring a picnic. Help weeding around our native tree seedlings. Relax and explore.
Living Legends at Waitati: last Sunday of the month help with releasing the native plants from rank grass and weeds at the Orokonui Scenic Reserve, an important area for whitebait and wading birds. We aim to transform the low-lying rank pasture into a thriving natural wetland, as it was over 150 years ago. To find out more go to http://www.livinglegends.co.nz/regions-events/otagonorth-otago/ or contact: Karen Connor at email@example.com or 03 4770 677.
Blueskin Community Market first Sunday of every month
Gallery on Blueskin
Food and coffee, plants and produce, arts and crafts, prints, pakoras, books, toys and more! Free stalls, DCC regulations apply to food stalls.
Phone Nathan on 027 214 8294 or Rudie 027 781 1799 for more information.
Wanted – Plastic PET bottles
Sawyers Bay School is wanting to build a glasshouse out of plastic bottles. They need approximately 1500 1.5 litre bottles. Bottles can be left at Sawyers Bay School during school hours or with Darlene Thomson, Keep Dunedin Beautiful Coordinator Dunedin City Council
4. Petitions and consultations
Government consultations (http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/make-submission/) – no sustainability-related consultations at present.
Dunedin City Council consultations: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/currently-consulting-on/current-consultations – no formal sustainability-related consultations at present. However, the Council is seeking views on oil and gas exploration off the Otago coast, to help it formulate its response to the Government’s 2015 Petroleum Block Offer. See http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/latest-news/november-2014/residents-views-sought-on-oil-and-gas-exploration for more information. Closing date for responses: Friday 5th December.
Otago Regional Council consultations: http://www.orc.govt.nz/Meetings-Consultations-and-Events/Have-your-say/ – no sustainability-related consultations at present.
5. Food for thought and (good) fuel for action
Torrential rain meant that fewer people than hoped for were around to visit the one-off FoodShare stall at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, so I thought I would take this opportunity to draw attention to its work. FoodShare is a local charity making a very practical response to two of the big failings of our current economic system – on the one hand, enormous food wastage, and, on the other, people who cannot afford to feed themselves or their families. Six days a week, FoodShare volunteers collect fresh but surplus perishable food from local supermarkets, bakeries, market stalls etc. and quickly deliver them to organisations such as the Salvation Army and food-banks who can pass them on to those who need them. They provide a vital link between retailers and social support charities, neither of which have the resources themselves to shift fresh food promptly from one place to the other. Since it started, FoodShare has provided food for over 380,000 meals for the Dunedin community and diverted 133,126 tonnes of food from landfill. We can hope that one day its work will no longer be necessary, but in the meantime it is an inspiring example of practical sustainability in action.
For more information, see http://www.foodshare.org.nz/.
Simonne Samuelson firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Neilson (SDC’s secretary) email@example.com
Sustainable Dunedin City Inc.
Please send all requests to go onto to mailing list to firstname.lastname@example.org