“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” - “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.”
Jacinda Arden has a go on the Kindy's bike that powers a water pump in 2017.
Power To The People is an Ōtaki group looking to build resilience within their community, by harnessing human and sun energy to generate power for emergencies.
The group combines a wealth of knowledge from members of the Ōtaki Kindergarten, MeloYelo Ōtaki, Ōtaki MenzShed and Energise Ōtaki. Together they sharing resources, skills, ideas and person power to build a bike that can generate electricity to power the likes of LED lights, mobile phones and other devices in an emergency.
The bike will be housed inside a custom built shed situated at the Ōtaki Kindergarten, with the potential to have solar panels installed in the future. By positioning the bike at the Kinergarderten it also provides an educational tool for the tamariki - talking about energy sources and measuring power. The group is also interested in sharing their knowledge with their wider whānau and community and see this project as an important component to Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Preparedness. They would like to also charge batteries which can be available to the Ōtaki Emergency Hub.
“We are very aware of the potential effects of earthquakes and natural disasters after seeing what happened in Kaikoura and Christchurch”, says Sara Velasquez. “We are aware that Ōtaki could also be cut off from assistance in Wellington. We have also seen first hand the effects of power outages in Ōtaki and that Kindy is a welcoming place for people to come if they don’t have power or heat available. Creating the bike energy source will be a way to develop new possibilities and alternative energy sources in case of a disaster or power outage.”
The $1000 Greener Neighbourhood grant covers about 15% of the cost of this project. The remaining will be covered by community donations of materials, time, funding, expertise and other fundraising. It is an excellent example of community match funding and the benefits of supporting the community to lead and develop projects for themselves.