This newsletter is circulated once every two to three weeks by Sustainable Dunedin City Society to publicise sustainability-related events, consultations, petitions and occasional news items relevant to Dunedin.

Happy New Year!
Welcome to the first Sustainable Dunedin City newsletter of 2016. There are already some interesting events coming up, as we come out of the summer lull. For some of us, it might also be a good time to start taking notice of the government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act and other environmental legislation – the closing date for submissions is not until 14th March, but there is a lot to get our heads around and there is already some opposition to the proposals because of their implications for the environment. Keep a look out in the media for a range of opinions which are likely to emerge over the next few weeks. In the meantime, a couple of commentaries are included in the Petitions and Consultions section below.

For lighter reading, catch up with Maureen Howard’s account of the first stage of her travels to and through South America – in the EcoLiving in Action slot below.

Finally, if you have made a new year’s resolution to reduce waste and want some interesting suggestions to help you along, try the website of the Zero-Waste Chef:

Best wishes,

Green Drinks
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 – Port Chalmers
On a summer break – next meeting date will be announced shortly.
For more information about the group see their Facebook page.

Green Drinks – Dunedin City
No regular meetings scheduled currently
Events for January and February
Friday 29th January, 7 pm
TPPA talk
Venue: Burns Hall (next to First Church, Moray Place)

International TPPA experts Lori Wallach, founder and director of Global Trade Watch at Public Citizen, and Professor Jane Kelsey from University of Auckland, will talk about the latest research, politics, analysis and actions. All welcome. The talk is a free event but any donations towards costs will be gratefully received. Saturday 30th January, 12 – 2.30pm
TPPA Don’t Sign eventVenue: The Octagon
Rally/picnic/info and entertainment “TPPA Don’t Sign” action event for all the family. Bring lunch, sign the petition and share ideas for action.

Saturday 30th January
Quarantine Island/Kamau Taurua Community Day
At this open day, we will also have a scything workshop for those who are interested. Dick Martin will demonstrate how to care for scythes so they stay sharp and effective, and also how to use them. We have lots of long grass on the Island for anyone who wants to practise! Bring your own scythe if you have one! Please register for this demonstration so we can pass on any updates. Watch how it’s done – grass cutting without emissions!

The boat leaves Back Beach by the Port Chalmers Yacht Club at 10am sharp and can do a pick up on the Portobello side. Return boat leaves the Island at approx. 3.30 pm. $15 for the boat. Bookings required! Contact Becca on 4780874, 021 165 6786 or at Bring something to share for a potluck picnic. A koha for the Island is always appreciated.

The next open days will be Sat 6th Feb. and Sat. 27th Feb. Check the for details.
Thursday 4th February 8am to 5pm
Urban Farming Masterclass
This is a unique opportunity to learn about profitable urban farming from Curtis Stone, founder of Green City Acres in Canada. Curtis specializes in multiple site farming (using backyards, vacant plots, etc) and has an established reputation as an urban farming  practitioner. He will be running a one-day masterclass in Dunedin. The cost is $220 (but a payment schedule may be possible). To get more information and to book, go to

Friday 5th February, 12 – 1pm
Centre for Sustainability seminar – Ways universities and institutions can respond and engage in the major environmental and social issues of our time

Venue: Centre for Sustainability Seminar Room, 563 Castle Street, Dunedin

Dr Isak Stoddard, Acting Program Director at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS), University of Uppsala, Sweden,  will discuss the challenges that are faced by universities and other institutes of higher education in seeking to respond to the major environmental and social issues of our times.

Thursday 11th February, 4 – 5pm
Centre for Sustainability seminar – Water policy: The good, the bad and the ugly
Venue: Centre for Sustainability Seminar Room, 563 Castle Street, Dunedin

Donna Lybecker, Professor of Political Science and Chair of Political Science at Idaho State University, USA, examines the use of policy narratives as an essential element in creating change and how they can be used to break policy intractability. An analysis of the public and stakeholders involved in a river restoration project in the state of Idaho, USA, reveals communication differences and what narrative preferences can best facilitated continued discussions. Regular activities
Eco-living in action radio show Otago Access Radio 105.4FM.
Hosted by Maureen Howard and sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

As many of you know, Maureen Howard is travelling in South America at the moment (having travelled by freighter to avoid air travel) and is not able to broadcast regularly, but she has sent an update for SDC members:
“I have just arrived in Panama City. I spent 20 days at sea on board the Spirit of Auckland – a freighter ship. I enjoyed it mostly! I had routines, a gym to exercise in, DVDs, lots of time on the deck, eating meals, and learning Spanish. You can read more about it on
Travelling through the Panama Canal was a highlight – flanked by tropical forest. I got off in Colon, a rather crumbling city with extremes of wealth and poverty, and eventually onto a Diablo Rojo – red devil bus to Achiote, a small village on the edge of the San Lorenzo Protected area jungle. I have had two weeks here of amazing experiences in every way. Wildlife and lovely people. I stayed in a environmental education / hostel here for two weeks. I’ve enjoyed helping Marilo the manager. She is very very knowledgeable about birds and a very inspiring and dedicated person.  I have a radio show just aired on this. And I hope to do another blog on it now that I am in a place with better internet.
I will be off again soon I hope to another jungle, on the edge of Lago Bayano. No internet here apparently.”
Maureen’s travels are being recorded on – radio shows and blog. She is getting them up when she stays at places with internet. 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 a DOC Scientific Reserve. Other working bees held as required in the evenings in summer and at weekends. For information contact Lala Frazer (phone 478 0339, email or text 022 437 0799).

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 contact Karen Connor at or 03 4770 677 or visit

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.
Petitions and consultations
Dunedin City Council: No sustainability-related consultations at present.

Otago Regional Council: No sustainability-related consulations at present.

New Zealand Government:  Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. Click here for details of the proposals and how to make submissions. Deadline for submissions Monday 14th March. This is a complicated Bill, proposing major amendments to the Resource Management Act, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf Act, the Environmental Protection Authority Act, the Reserves Act, the Conservation Act and the Public Works Act. The bill was introduced in early December and it seems as if not many environmental groups have had time yet to publish their views on it – there are 180 pages of amendments to existing legislation and 38 pages of explanation to work through! However, the Green Party has already said that it is opposing the Bill:
“Though we support parts of the Bill, including the increased recognition of the importance of managing natural hazards, most of the good proposals in the Bill appear to be vastly out-weighed by changes that consolidate power around the Minister, lock out local voices, and weaken environmental safeguards.” (Green Party press release)
Likewise, the November-December issue of ECOlink, the newsletter of the Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand, raises concerns:
“The Bill proposes changes to several Acts that would constitute major threats to the environment and to local democracy. Like the proposals that preceded this Bill, there are many moves to favour economic development over other interests.”

Anti-TPPA petition:

Sustainable Dunedin City Society aims to facilitate a positive, secure and sustainable future for Dunedin City and is made up of people who are interested in the issues of climate change, declining energy security and sustainability. The Society is not affiliated to any political party. As well as production of this newsletter, current activities of the the Society include organising the Big Green Challenge and hosting Green Drinks in the city centre and Port Chalmers. For more information or to join the Society go to
Simonne Wood (formerly Samuelson) (newsletter editor)

Jenny Neilson (SDC secretary)

Sustainable Dunedin City Inc