September/October 2016

We’re excited to kick off some serious work on the Climate Safe House project, thanks to great support from the Otago Community Trust. We’re now able to purchase a Thermal Imaging Camera which is not just useful for the Climate Safe House project, it will also be useful for Home Performance Assessments generally, and will be offered to other community organisations like the volunteer fire-brigade to use. It’s also great to be working with the Otago Polytechnic on designs for the house. The Second Generation District Plan is being finalised by the DCC and it is clear that parts of Waitati and Long Beach in particular are likely to be designated hazard zones. This is because of the risk climate change induced sea-level rise and flooding poses to low lying properties. South Dunedin gets a lot of attention in the media, but the risk to local property in Blueskin is just as serious and the Climate Safe House project is about assessing in detail the risk and working with residents to devise possible solutions. So what are we doing exactly? We’re:

  • Providing Home Performance Assessments at no cost to some residents in the low lying areas of Waitati and Long Beach
  • Preparing a survey to capture residents opinions
  • Preparing for interviews to be conducted with potentially affected residents.

All of this will take place from this October through into 2017. In parallel with that work we’re working with the Polytech departments designing the house and are excited by their early design work.

In September Craig Marshall (BRCT ChairmaLocal Food Imagen) and I (BRCT Manager) will attend the ‘Strengthening Communities Hui’ in Auckland, a big hui involving many non-governmental organisations from around the country. We’re looking forward to learning from the experiences of others and sharing our stories.

Insulation orders are being processed, we’ve launched a new Cosy Energy Advice service (local call: 03-9291323), and are taking bookings for Healthy Rental Certification, which we now offer. We are also building an online local food directory for local producers to promote themselves. The ideal of eating local, seasonal food has grown in profile as people recognise the value of ensuring a secure local food supply and the social and environmental advantages of reducing supply chains, and this is something to celebrate! All in all, we’ve had a busy month and our visitor book is testimony to just how many people have dropped in or attended one of the meetings.

You can find us on Facebook as Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, on Twitter as @BlueskinPower and you can call 03 4822048 or call in to visit and find out more about any of our work. Our office is located in Waitati at Waitati School and you can contact us by email at: office@brct.org.nz.

By Scott Willis