What are the best and worst Earth-Friendly aspects of your closest city or neighbourhood?
What would you like to see developed more?
We live in a very “green” town – Kaikoura NZ.
I’ve been a part of Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura which is in the process of getting our policy for the management of this coast through the parliamentary process and into reality.
We have almost as much land in the conservation estate as in private ownership in this district.
Kaikoura is an interesting place to live, interesting people, interesting journey. We have a long way to go and we are on a journey to sustainability.
The conservation estate is owned by the government through the department of conservation (DoC), and is public land, managed by the government for the benefit of all. It is mainly there to be in as natural a state as possible.
Anyone can walk over most of it (apart from a few areas of very rare plants, which have restricted entry). It is commons in a sense, yet it is managed by the DoC, and vehicle access is restricted over most of it (and as few people stray far from their vehicles these days, few people actually get out and experience it – and most seem happy just knowing it is there).
Te Korowai was basically formed by an initiative of the local Maori people, who worked with DoC then invited people representing their various organisations to form a group for the conservation and enhancement of our coastal fishery. In the Maori language it is called kaitiakitanga, which loosely translates as guardianship, and has deeper connotations of use values and intergenerational longevity. The first minuted meeting of the group was in May 2005 (9 years ago). It has been a long journey. 479 hours in 96 minuted meetings, plus at least as many hours again doing stuff outside of official meetings. As well as being treasurer I have also been website manager (as in I have done it all, hand coded – perhaps not pretty but functional). All the meetings with our own fishing club, and various clubs in Christchurch, and then meetings in Wellington with commercial fisheries groups.
Te Korowai is an incorporated society.
We are our own masters, in as much as anyone is.
We operate by consensus; every member has power of veto on every decision. Everyone has to leave every meeting being able to live with every decision we make. Not a fast way to make decisions, and an interesting way.
We all signed up to take ownership of whatever we produced.
A process of gifts and gains. Everyone there is committed to gains for the environment and for future generations.
We have twice called publicly for new members, and every existing member has had to agree to new members joining. Turnover is low. About half of the original members are still in the group.
A fascinating process.