02 July 2008 - The Nelson Mail

Nelson gets green tick

GREEN STEP: Ted Howard with his xtracycle bike and Nelson home page for Transition Towns.

Nelson is enhancing its reputation as a city with green-minded residents, after being named New Zealand's fifth Transition Town.

Transition Nelson steering group member Ted Howard said being granted official Transition Town status was a "great endorsement" for the city.

Transition Towns are a global network of towns and cities dedicated to raising awareness of the impact small-scale community change has on sustainabilty.

Mr Howard said the Nelson group's focus was to try to plan locally to build resilience in the face of issues such as peak oil and climate change.

It aimed to initiate a range of community-led projects to shift Nelson people to a low-energy lifestyle in a positive way.

"Transition Towns work on the philosophy that as individuals we can make some difference, but by pulling together as a community, this voice becomes very powerful," he said.

"With food and fuel prices escalating and likely to continue rising, the community is really ready to make some changes."

In April the Nelson Environment Centre received $152,000 from the Environment Ministry to support and develop Transition Nelson.

The Nelson group will be formally launched in September, but at its first public meeting, people had expressed an interest in food production.

Mr Howard said its meeting next Tuesday evening, therefore, would focus on opportunities to localise food again and produce it more sustainably.

The meeting would be of interest to people concerned about where their food came from, or those wanting to see more local food production.

People who had garden areas but did not have the skills to grow food, or would be happy for others to grow food in their gardens, should also attend the meeting, along with organic gardeners or those with training in permaculture, he said.

The Food Group will meet next at the Trafalgar Centre's Victory Room at 7pm. Entry is by gold coin donation.

For more information visit www.transitiontowns.org.nz or email Katy Steele at transitionnelson@nec.org.nz.