Sustainable Dunedin City

Looking to Dunedin's Future

Browsing Posts published in September, 2011

“Fronting up to Our Deteriorating World”

Dunedin Public Meeting

Thursday October 13. Castle One Lecture Theatre, University of Otago. 7.00 – 10.30pm

The Clutha River Forum, Sustainable Dunedin City and Forest & Bird Protection Society are co-sponsoring a public meeting to discuss the major issues threatening our world, including fossil fuel dependence, resource depletion, global financial uncertainty, and the irrational pursuit of unending economic growth in a finite world.

“We can’t deny that all natural systems upon which human life depends are deteriorating,” says Clutha forum member, Brian Turner. “More and more, human beings are going to have to dig in, in every sense of the phrase. Considerable resilience is called for, everywhere, if we are to make the transition to different ways of living and providing for ourselves.”

“There are enough solutions to make positive changes today,” says forum coordinator, Lewis Verduyn. “The real problem is that our government leaders haven’t got the moral courage to act on behalf of society. Instead, vested interests are driving us down the road to ruin, focused on their business-as-usual profits.”

Members of the Clutha River Forum include the Upper Clutha River Guardians, the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group, the Central Otago Environmental Society, Save Central, the Beaumont Residents’ Group, the Lower Clutha River Guardians, and Forest and Bird, Dunedin Branch, who are also co-sponsoring the meeting, along with Sustainable Dunedin City.

The seminar will have three topics.

ENERGY: SPEAKERS: Prof. Bob Lloyd, University of Otago Physics Dept., Louis Chambers, “Generation Zero”, Dunedin and Mr David Beach, Neptune Power Ltd., Christchurch.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported peak oil was in 2006. All fossil fuels are declining in availability and increasing in price, while their emissions are destabilising our climate. We have no choice but to move urgently toward a clean energy economy. Meantime, our government is pursuing fossil fuel exploration, and our power companies want to hike electricity prices yet again, to pay for more generation. But we already waste vast amounts of electricity that could be captured, and globally, clean energy technologies are booming, with investment in the cleantech sector forecast to reach US$30 trillion by 2025. Should New Zealand be a follower or a leader, and what viable options do we have?

CONOMICS: SPEAKER: Prof. Rob Lawson, University of Otago Dept of Marketing.

The limitations of GDP as a measure of national welfare have been long recognized but this has not prevented the continued pursuit of economic growth as it is assessed by GDP. Consumers are encouraged to take more debt, spend more money and use more resources in ways that are blatantly inefficient and unsustainable. It seems that politicians are unable to respond effectively to this issue, just as they are unable to allocate costs effectively to cover externalities so that markets might actually work in more sustainable ways. Perhaps the answer to increasing our long term welfare lies in a ‘bottom up’ approach starting with us as consumers taking responsibility for the consequences of our own actions and framing our choices with higher ethical standards.

COMMUNITIES: SPEAKER: Dugald MacTavish, Hampden Community Energy Inc.

Human history is a story of expansion to access and exploit natural capital. Globalization and free trade have lengthened supply chains and reduced the ability of communities to supply their own products. Our increasing need for energy and food security, particularly, will require us to be become more locally independent. How can communities be encouraged to pursue sustainable solutions?

The meeting aims to identify urgent and necessary actions.

Political representatives for the Dunedin North electorate will be invited to attend and give a brief (5 min.) response at the end of the presentations, before discussion and question time.

All concerned members of the public are welcome and urged to attend to share their views in the discussion.

Draft Programme:

Introduction/Purpose: Prof. Alan Mark 7.00-7.05.

The End of Growth” DVD by R. Heinberg. 7.05-7.11.

Economics and long-term welfare. Prof. Rob Lawson 7.11-7.30.

Tidal power potential for New Zealand. Mr David Beach 7.30-8.00.

Energy update: responding rationally. Prof. Bob Lloyd 8.00-8.15.

GenerationZero: youth perspective Mr Louie Chambers 8.15-8.30.

Sustainable communities: obstacles & opportunities Mr Dugald MacTavish 8.30-8.45.

Invited politicians (3-4) To be named 5 mins each


SUPPER will be provided 10.00-10.30

For further information, contact::

Alan Mark

University Botany Department

03 4797573 / 4763229

Lewis Verduyn

Coordinator, Clutha River Forum

03 443 1246

Brian Turner

03 444 5051 / 022 6137766

Leigh Morris

03 4545 455 / 021 667747

Jocelyn Harris

Co-Chair Sustainable Dunedin City


477 7187

Janet Ledingham

Chair, Forest & Bird, Dunedin Branch


467 2960

Dunedin 350 Festival, scheduled for NEXT SATURDAY, September 24.

Come along to the Dunedin 350 Festival to be a part of this global day of action which will unite people all around the world to send a message loud and clear that we do not want a future reliant on fossil fuels!

Chill out with friends at the Dunedin Botanic Gardens where there will be live music, and fun activities provided for all ages. Stalls held by local community groups include sustainability workshops, gardening tips and giveaways such as eco-store products! Global Mala yoga and meditations will be happening prior to stalls from 11am – 12.30pm.

This day focuses on a nationwide petition asking MP’s and local councils for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable, clean energy future. For specific petition details check out our website or here

The crew need any volunteer help they can get! So please e-mail them if you can help out.


Tēnā koutou katoa,

Suze Keith (SDC’s newsletter compiler)

HortTalk – Green Ways to Eradicate Invasive Weeds

presented by TJ Irvin, Inventor, Botanic Garden Centre, Upper Lovelock Avenue, Dunedin

By doing a little bit, often, you can get on top of pest plants. TJ will cover non chemical control such as hot water, mulching, salt and the tool he has invented, The Slammer.

Make a short film

  • It can be any length up to 5 minutes.
  • You can make it individually or in a team
  • Use any camera you like.
  • Choose any genre you like and interpret ‘sustainability’ in the way that makes best sense to you.
  • Anyone up to the age of 24 can enter the challenge.
  • That means anyone born in 1987 or later who is a Citizen or Resident of New Zealand or is lawfully permitted to study or work in New Zealand.

WARRINGTON SCHOOL MARKET is held on the first Sunday of every month from 11am-2pm, rain or shine, in the grounds of Warrington School! Experience a unique blend of food, coffee, plants, produce, art, craft, prints, pakoras, books, toys and more!

Free stalls available ph 027 7811799

The market opened on the 4th of September 2011.

THIS Saturday September 17 (Warrington Hall) & Sunday September 18 (Waitati Hall), 1pm – 4.30pm – Blueskin Energy Project Open Days

The small community wind cluster proposal – the keystone for Blueskin energy initiatives.

See the (current) proposal, provide ideas, generate electricity, touch a blade. It’s all there on the day, welcome to all.

Wander in when it suits – tea and coffee available – music to view by – people to talk to about the proposal.

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