Celebrating sustainable action in Paekākāriki
A group of Paekākāriki residents held a finale event at the weekend to celebrate their year of achievements in making their community more sustainable.
Paekākāriki Greener Neighbourhoods groups from Tilley Road and Ocean Square were joined by council staff who are involved with the initiative and Councillor Janet Holborow to do some weeding at the north end of Tilley road, which backs onto Queen Elizabeth Park. This was followed by afternoon tea at Paekākāriki School.
“Having been part of a Greener Neighbourhoods group, I've experienced how the initiative brings people together and achieves positive environmental outcomes,” Councillor Holborow says.
“It's a great collaboration between council, neighbourhoods and the wider community to help create genuinely resilient, sustainable and connected neighbourhood environments. The resilience and community spirit that results lasts long after the end of the challenges.”
Some highlights from the Paekākāriki groups include holding a civil defence weekend where residents went without electricity and/or water for up to 48 hours; a street party; a multitude of composting, gardening and waterwise workshops with the council’s Green Gardener; home renovation advice from the council’s Eco-Design advisor; and many waste minimisation initiatives including ‘no junk mail’ stickers for P.O. Box holders and exploration of options around installing recycling bins in the Paekākāriki village alongside the bins that go to landfill.
Local builder John Wraight also held a ‘recycled pallet’ workshop at the school to build compost bins and a bike shed from recycled wooden pallets. The bike shed was donated to a family who had received bikes from the Paekākāriki Bike Library, a scheme which also came out of a Greener Neighbourhoods project where old bikes are recycled and lent to children who need them to get to school.
“The best part of Greener Neighbourhoods for me was really getting to know the people in my street, mostly through a series of garden-focused workshops,” says Tilley Road resident Tina Pope.
“The street party drew a lot of other people who weren’t so involved and new connections were made there too. Our home is now much more focused on reducing waste and consumption in lots of ways we hadn’t thought about before. Our power bills have gone down, we use the car less and nothing that was once alive leaves our property – it all goes back into building the soil and growing food. We’re really thinking about the true impact of what we buy.”
Greener Neighbourhoods is a council initiative which supports Kāpiti neighbours to get to know each other better, build community resilience and reduce environmental footprint through fun and practical activities. For more information about the project, free ‘green’ council services, the civil defence weekend or the Paekākāriki bike library, contact council’s sustainable communities coordinator at [email protected] or phone 04 296 4700.