Minutes of a meeting of the Upper Hutt Transition Towns group at Lighthouse Cinema, 18 March 2008

About 30 people attended the second Transition Towns meeting in the Lighthouse Cinema, on Tuesday 18 March 2008. This followed the inaugural meeting on 3 March.

1. Don Northcott reported on his recent visit to Waiheke Island to meet James Samuel, Jan Baquelet, and others. Waiheke Island was the first Transition Town in New Zealand and the people there have been moving to a more sustainable way of living for some time.

2. Ewan Cole outlined the components of a vision for a sustainable Upper Hutt encompassing energy, transport, housing, waste, etc.

3. Mike Hurley, Planning Manager of Upper Hutt City Council explained the planning activities of the Council. The Council has a Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) 2006 – 2016. This describes the projects that will be undertaken over the next 10 years. It also lists the 7 Community Outcomes for Upper Hutt, and how they will be met by the LTCCP. Every year the Council develops an Annual Plan that conforms to the LTCCP. The 2008 Annual Plan will be released on 3 April 2008. A public meeting will be held at the Council building (rear entrance, in the Civil Defence room) on 14 April to discuss the Annual Plan and the revised Community Outcomes (that were revised a few weeks ago in consultation with UH residents). Mike pointed out that all UHCC plans must conform to the Greater Wellington (GW) Regional Council policies. GW has just published its Draft Regional Policy Statement for public review. Closing date for public comments is 14 May.

4. A set of possible Projects, related to sustainability and suggested over previous days by interested people, was offered to see if there was any interest in pursuing them. Coordinators were identified for projects that had interest.

Project - Coordinator
1. Liaise with Upper Hutt City Council – submissions on LTCCP - Steering Group
2. Prepare submission on GW Regional Policy Statement - Pat van Berkel
3. Develop energy descent plan - Ewan Cole
4. Promote cycling and cycleways – the river trail - Trevor English
5. Move to zero waste - Wendy Godfrey
6. Expand use of council and public land, eg, fruit and nut trees - No one as yet
7. Expand use of other community assets, eg, school buildings after school and weekends - No one as yet
8. Re-establish the St Patricks College Farm: Get the boys growing, marketing, selling, sharing - No one as yet
9. Establish community gardens – veges - Peter Thomas
10. Establish a permaculture group, encourage home gardens - Judy Griffiths
11. Educate, raise awareness, hold workshops – eg, energy descent / propagation / worm farms / composting - Steering Group
12. Start farmers’ / vege markets – local organic produce & crafts - Hellen Swales
13. Establish a sustainable environment centre - Steering Group
14. Encourage sustainable energy in homes and business - Ewan Cole
15. Use a complementary local currency - Don Northcott
16. Establish further Community Centres, eg, in Whiteman's Valley with Gardens / General Store / Cooperative - No one as yet
17. Promote Homesteading: Families cohabiting for life - Mary Beth Taylor
18. Establish a City Square / Plaza: Upper Hutt needs a heart, eg, opposite Expressions - No one as yet
19. Establish a regular 'Transition Tips‘ column in the UH Leader - Roz Brown

Those interested in particular projects met briefly with the coordinators. Coordinators were asked to provide the list of their people to Pat who will provide email addresses from the main mailing list. Coordinators were asked to organise a gathering of their group to plan their project.

5. A Steering Group was formed. The 8 members are: Ewan Cole, Roz Brown, Hellen Swales, Barry Wards, Diane Weatherhead, Wendy Godfrey, Mary Archibald, Pat van Berkel

6. The first meeting of the Steering Group is 7:30pm, Tuesday 1 April, Lighthouse Cinema, Upper Hutt.

7. The next public meeting will be in about a month – to be decided at the first Steering Group meeting.