This year’s Greener Neighbourhoods competition is underway with past and present participants keener than ever to share ideas, build community resilience, learn how to reduce environmental impact and save money.
A round of introductions kicked things off at a launch event yesterday [Sunday 12 June], where participants shared their hopes for this year’s activities and the judges greeted the groups with some expert tips and hints to get started.
There are four groups lining up to participate in the 10-month competition from Raumati South, Raumati Beach, Waikanae Beach and Ōtaki.
In a friendly warm-up to the competition proper, the groups squared off with a quiz that tested their knowledge about environment, emergency preparedness and the Kāpiti Coast – the Ōtaki and Raumati South groups tied to share the win on the day.
Council’s Sustainable Communities Coordinator Vanessa Crowe says there was a common desire to get to know neighbours better and engage on a meaningful level over the months the competition runs for.
“It’s exciting to see the groups form, each with their own unique characteristics reflecting the group members and the place where they live,” she says.
“Each group has come together to get know each other and establish some goals.”
The first task was for groups to make a sign for their neighbourhood, which will be appearing around the district soon. Groups will also be measuring their eco-footprint, attend workshops on practical eco-skills, including at the Council’s ‘No.8 Wire Week’ coming in July, and carrying out community projects of their own choosing.
This year’s judges include Mayor Ross Church, Professor Brenda Vale, former participant and now the Sustainability Advisor at the Sustainability Trust, Wellington, Flo McNeil, Owner/operator of Paraoa Bakehouse/Purebread Robert Glensor and self-confessed plant geek Anna Butterfield.