Welcome to the website of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT).

Jeanette FitzsimonsWe are proud to have Jeanette Fitzsimons, CNZM as our patron.

We work on creating local climate solutions together. Our company, Blueskin Energy Limited, aims to establish local renewable generation embedded in the local grid. We want to make what is commonplace in other countries possible in New Zealand. Our Climate Safe House project is a response to sea-level rise in Blueskin Bay and the wider area. BRCT is an IRD approved charitable trust formed in 2008 out of the need to support local sustainability and climate change initiatives in a planned and structured way.  We offer practical services, provide key support, have robust resources, lead innovative projects and provide expert advocacy. Check out our 2017 projects below and our 2016 success stories at the bottom of this page. 

Alongside our work on our Blueskin Turbine, and Climate Safe Housing we provide a few community services as resources allow:

Firewood Programme
•    We offer bulk sales of logs to be processed for firewood
•    This is a lower-cost option for communities, charities, social organisations, etc.

Affordable insulation
•    We offer discounted quality insulation for residents prepared to do the installation themselves.
•    This is a low-cost option for DIYers, landlords and social organisations, etc.

Cosy Home Assessments
•    We are maintaining a Dunedin wide service delivering independent expert assessments, appraisals and reports on their home performance to Dunedin residents.
•    We work with the Cosy Homes Trust other social agencies to help support residents make their homes warm and cosy.
•    Telephone 03 4822048 to book.

Healthy Rental Certification
•    We help landlords ensure compliance with the new requirements under the Residential Tenancies Act.
•    We give landlords and tenants the information they need to fix any issues and information on available subsidies.

Community office
•    We are a drop in centre for advice and support.
•    We work with individuals to catalyse community actions.
•    We provide community newsletters and articles each month.
•    We maintain a Local Food Directory to support local food initiatives.
•    We help to coordinate actions and develop collaboration to join up skills and build cooperate effort.
We are proud that Jeanette, our Patron, expresses so succinctly what we're about.


Current Project News in 2017 - September/October

Our Blueskin Turbine

Tower Down
Blueskin Energy Ltd appealed the Dunedin City Council's decision to decline consent for our proposed community wind turbine at Blueskin Bay. We modified our application to mitigate potential adverse impacts on near neighbours by reducing turbine numbers from three 800 kW turbines to a single 3MW turbine.

On Monday the 9th of September we received notification that BEL's appeal had been declined. We are now examining the Environment Court ruling before making any decision. Earlier this year our wind measuring mast suffered criminal damage through vandalism, and this resulted in an inability to continue to collect wind data, however we now have a long term data set that can be correlated against other measuring sites. We aim to create a democratic energy system, with a local electricity marketplace ensuring greater value from the energy dollar.

We also want to acknowledge the exceptional work of our legal team, expertly led by Bridget Irving, and the professionalism of all the experts, as well as the patience of all who listened and participated in the Environment Court process. 

Meanwhile we are waiting for the weather to warm up before we call a working bee to dismantle the  damaged wind testing tower. This has been a sad loss of a community resource.

We’ll continue to post updates on twitter @BlueskinPower and on Facebook (Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust). You are also welcome to call 03 4822048 or call in to visit and find out more about any of our work.


ResilienceWKSP2From the office

Our recent workshop on 'Builiding Community Resilience' with Eugenie Sage MP was rich and inspiring. There was a great turnout and ideas shared, great dialogue, and plans made.

We were pleased and a just little surprised that that warm and healthy, climate safe housing is on a lot of people's minds when they think about the future in their community, and emergency preparedness. This of course is one of our more important early stage projects (the Climate Safe House project - see below) but we weren't sure that it would rise to the top of community concerns.

Similarly, support for work to establish a local energy supply to support resilience and a localised grid to enable us to keep the lights on in a disaster or restart from a black-out situation, while ensuring we have our own energy assets was strong.

Eugenie Sage's report on the Christchurch Earthquake experience stimulated helpful questions, which, later in the workshop, reinforced the determination of us all to take charge of building community resilience through collaborative actions. We're now working through the notes and ideas jotted down by the different working 'cells' during the workshop and these will be reported on to participants and in our local media.

If you want to make a donation to assist our work follow the link or email BRCT at office@brct.org.nz, or Donate using internet banking via the website. Donations are tax deductible so please make sure we have your name and address and can thank you!


CSH research 2017Climate Safe Housing
We're pleased to have a great advisory board for the Climate Safe House project, to provide oversight, ideas, insights and intellectual rigour to the project. This project is a true collaborative project and we're excited to be working with the Otago Polytechnic on the design for a Climate Safe House. The research and design involving community is wonderfully collaborative learning environment for all, as explained in this article

So what is the project about? We are designing, and will then construct a Climate Safe House but at the same time we’re trying to establish how vulnerable parts of Blueskin are to climate change. We don’t want people to invest their money in something that will one day be drowned. We are mid-way through our Climate Safe House research but we already have gained valuable insights. For example, preliminary results highlight the fact that most homes we’ve looked at experience moisture issues and few are thermally efficient – ie a lot of energy is required to keep the place warm. Many are considering moving out of the flood hazard zone. Very few think government is doing enough to address the risk. 

We don't have time to be complacent. The climate is changing due to the release of greenhouse gas emissions through human activity. Water expands as it warms (thermal expansion) and glaciers and ice sheets begin to liquify in a warming world. This leads to rising sea-levels, and more extreme and erratic weather. We must adapt to our changing world while reducing our impact.



Our Successes in 2016

Climate Safe House projectLaunch of the Climate Safe House project
In 2016 we launched the Climate Safe House project, a response to sea-level rise in Dunedin and coastal New Zealand. We aim to research, design and construct a New Zealand blueprint.

This is a multi-decade project addressing housing and vulnerable populations as coast lines change as a result of climate change and involves a growing list of partners. From 2016 - 2020 we have four goals:

1. Conduct research into the existing housing stock in flood hazard zones; the perception of flood risk by residents in flood hazard zones, and; plans for a possible future response to flood risk by residents in flood hazard zones.

2. Design and construct a house that is: healthy to live in; affordable; transportable, modular and energy efficient.

3. Engage with students, residents and decision makers

4. Provide a blueprint for future house builders and for other organisations.

If you are interested in helping out, making a donation or sponsoring some part of the project, please be in touch via the Trust office. Tel: 03 4822048 / email: office@brct.org.nz


Our Details

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Contact us:
contact usBy email: office@brct.org.nz, by phone: 03 4822 048, by snail mail: BRCT, 31 Hill Street, RD2, Waitati, 9085, or come visit us in our offices at the old dental surgery, at Waitati School.



 Donate to us:
our supporters3We currently rely on donations and grants to provide services to the community, as we work to build a social business

Donations are essential to help us continue with our work and are tax-deductable.  Our account is: 389008 0472900 00

See our donate page for details on how else you can donate. 

We have many people and businesses to thank for supporting BRCT so far (see our supporters page).