Waitati is a small (roughly 200 household) community, 20 kms north of Dunedin and Dunedin North on Blueskin Bay – just over the hill from Port Chalmers.

We’re a small community with a lot of ommph (see http://www.bethechange.org.nz/blogs/bus-crew/waitati). There’s a long history of trying out alternatives and starting initiatives for sustainability and environmental awareness. In 2006 we began thinking more precisely about Peak Oil, Climate Change and managing the challenges. Since then, much has happened. 2007 was busy, 2008 was a very big year, and in 2009 we spread our wings! This year (2010) promises to be very dynamic and one where we reap the fruit of our labour within the energy and food projects.

By the way, we’ve got many plans and initiatives, and we do some ‘Blue Sky Visioning’ to help us get there, while we have a Trust to provide an umbrella for initiatives and strategic governance.

Some Important Social/Alt/Enviro Institutions and or sites
Mushroom Magazine was founded and printed in Waitati until 1985 (it is in print, not online at all – only this)
The Waitati Film Society is located at ‘Bill’s Place’
The Orokonui Ecosantuary is now established here, and open to the public
Waitati Edible Gardens encourages and promotes a community food web
Our local library (Blueskin Bay Library) is an information and activity hub, along with the hall
Blueskin Baywatch is a group interested in promoting appropriate land-use and planning. See Lee’s blog
The Blueskin News keeps us informed, both in the electronic format and free (more comprehensive) print version
Waitati School is an Enviro School and is where many of our youth begin to appreciate the challenges we all face and certainly learn about gardening, energy, the environment, community and much more
The Waitati Energy Project is where much voluntary energy is focussed right now, with multiple projects and actions happening as we strive to build a more energy resilient, efficient and healthy community
W3 Rideshare is an informal rideshare system for the Northern Districts
Many people in Waitati support the Get the Train initiative
The East Otago Walking-Cycling Network aims to build a foot and pedal pathway network encompassing Blueskin Bay
The Blueskin Youth Centre Administration is a local committee aiming to build resources for Blueskin youth
Blueskin 10:10 is a local campaign for 2010 supporting the global 10:10 campaign
Waitati Neighbourhood Support fosters community spirit and addresses local issues
The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust provides an experienced legal body for sustainable transition initiatives in Waitati

Where we are at now.
We formed a Trust (the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust) in 2008 to provide governance for our sustainability initiatives and have divided our areas of current action into three: ENERGY (Waitati Energy Project), FOOD (Waitati Edible Gardens) and TRANSPORT (integrating and working with existing initiatives such as W3 Rideshare, Get-the-Train, and the East Otago Walking-Cycling Network). The Trust is concerned with giving an economic underpinning to our sustainability initiatives while maintaining the community building focus, but more generally we want to enhance what is already in existence, and learn from success.

Since receiving Hikurangi Support in August 2009, we’ve been resourced to function as a Climate Change hub, working closely with other groups (hubs) around Aotearoa/New Zealand to better develop and deliver action, develop common strategy, learn more about what works and what doesn’t and get greater access to expertise, mentoring and inspiration. We’ve already established great dialogue with these dynamic hubs for action on Climate Change.

Waitati Energy Project Columns
(Click the link)
This page is a collection of WEP monthly Columns. The column provides the public face to WEP action locally and is a partial log of activities.

Sponsors and Funders
Our initiatives aimed at making a transition to a lower energy lifestyle, building local resilience, and creatively planning for a challenging future are supported not just by a dynamic and engaged community of volunteers and passionate people, but also by some key sponsors and funders. We are grateful for the support we receive and here we provide a profile our our sponsors and funders and explain which aspects of our work is being sustained.

Forum, Discussion and Tasks
It is not just here at Waitati, though there are many diverse activities here. Related things are happening in our general Dunedin area. Where better to deal with all this inter-related stuff than in a forum? The Dunedin Area Forum is where different forum topics relating to the greater Dunedin Area is located, and is interactive – an open space for discussion. Other than that, you could go to the different transition initiatives (their pages) in Dunedin: so far Dunedin North, Port Chalmers, and Dunedin, and expanding! (Actually, expanding along the East Coast of Otago – have a look at the East Otago Transition Collaboration discussion, emerging as a project based regional grouping of Transition initiatives to make things happen).

Now there’s a TT page where we’ll be listing TASKS to do, with some detail where there’s a possibility for people to help out or contribute.

In the Media
The Waitati Energy Project, Waitati Edible Gardens, and W3 Rideshare have monthly columns in the Blueskin News, but occassionally others are interested in what’s happening in Waitati

Otago Daily Times, on Waitati Commuter Train for March, 3rd Feb, 2010
Otago Daily Times, on Eco-hero awards and Spring Festival, 26th October, 2009
Otago Daily Times, on the Blueskin Youth Centre Administration’s ambitions for youth
Otago Daily Times, on our Wind Turbine ambitions, 23 September, 2009
Otago Daily Times on Car Free Day train (from Waitati), 23 September, 2009
Otago Daily Times, on submissions to the ORC’s 10-year transport plan, 29 June, 2009
Otago Daily Times, on the petition to reinstate the train, Thursday 30th April, 2009
Otago Daily Times, on Powerhouse Wind’s Waitati trials, Wednesday 29th April, 2009
Electrical + Automation Technology, on the WEP, April/May 2009
Channel Nine News, on Waitati Energy Project’s Retrofit Rollout, Friday 27th March, 2009
Otago Daily Times, on Waitati Energy Project’s Retrofit Rollout, Saturday 28th March, 2009
Otago Daily Times, on Powerhouse Wind’s trials, Saturday 20th December, 2008
Otago Daily Times, ‘Your News’, on the WEP, Thursday, 27th November, 2008
Otago Daily Times on the WEP, Friday, 8th August, 2008
Otago Daily Times, General
TV3, on Powerhouse Wind in Waitati, 15th June, 2008
Otago Daily Times on W3, Sat. 21st June,
The Star, Community Newspaper, on Sustainable Waitati, 27th September, 2007

The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust office on 03 4822048 or blueskincommunities@gmail.com,

Scott Willis on 03 4822048 or waitatienergy@gmail.com or Sue Hensley at sue.hensley@gmail.com