Community Group

Next Meeting  Friday 12th December, 5:30pm, Founders Cafe, Founders Park, Nelson.

The Contact person for this group is Erik Roeper email  

Previous Minutes


Present:         Janja Markovic, Helen Richards, Penny Olsen, John, Ted Howard, Janet Whittington

Apologies:     Erik Roeper, Carl Horn, Ketana, David Wakeling. Ketana Saxon.

1.         a.         Minutes of last meeting read by Janet and confirmed by Penny.

            b.         Decision to invite all of Transition Nelson to our first extended Community Group social Event 2-7pm Sunday 30th November 2008 at Janet's home in 35 Brougham St, Central Nelson. No further reports of meet the neighbours' get-togethers from those present. Invitation to end of month ‘Welcome to Summer' afternoon, attached to this e-mail.

            c.         Support the Transport Group:  Remember to support the NCC initiatives to promote public transport, walking and cycling by submitting to the draft transport strategy.


2.      THE VISION! Those present decided we have two focuses.


A.        The Community Vision for Nelson City.  A forward vision projecting out to 2020.

  • Ted Howard's Community vision: Peace-loving resilience.
  • John Phair's vision: Encouraging a non-violent freedom loving responsible community that acts locally. This sets an example nationally and globally. i.e. Laslow's hierarchy of needs. As the world increasingly Competes for resources, people need to see a clear path to the top of the needs hierarchy in order to avoid social chaos.
  • Janja Markovic: To live in a place where all feel included respected and considered. Where we trust that there is enough to go around and we share what we have and what we know joyfully. A vibrant creative community where our individual talents interests and ways of doing things are honoured and celebrated. Where our work is shared between our work for the community good and our own passions.
  • Erik Roeper's vision: To be successful in knitting people together through shared interests and result in a greater sense of community.  The group will help tie different groups/peoples within the community together and help provide effective coordination (as the people at the coalface) between the Council and the People as the need for closer networks, in all aspects of living in a society undergoing a period of significant change, becomes apparent.
  • Hilary Blundell's Vision: We will be living closer to the land and to our neighbours with far greater inter-dependence than we have now. As large-scale aviation, shipping, trucking or car-ownership will be gone, few people or products will travel far, and horses and sail trading will gradually return. Localised permaculture, as in Cuba, will be our means of survival. We will have relearned many of the skills our grandparents had, and live in localised and well-connected communities of all sizes. We will be living with increasingly disturbed and unreliable weather patterns, very limited and expensive fuel and electricity, and constant encroachment of the sea into all coastal land.

The transition will be difficult and ongoing, and may well be less rosy than some have suggested. Much that we take for granted now will be history.

There will be shortages of many more things than fuel: all metals and plastics, high technology and higher education, debt availability, medicines, fertilizers, rubber, sugar, glass, cement and anything else we cannot make locally. There will be progressive failure of many core institutions: the banking system and globalization, the fuel supply system, the supermarket system, and the hospital system. All systems will become localised from whatever can be produced and maintained within small distances using little fuel or power. The renewable energy infrastructure we are now developing continues to rely on the availability of metals, fuels and cement for all it's manufacture, installation and maintenance, and therefore will also become unreliable. Many parts of the world that are now over-populated will experience heavy early mortality. We are very lucky here in Nelson, and in New Zealand. We have a high level of resilience already, and that is why I am here, having arrived 20 years ago with some of this in mind already.

We are still not ready yet, as a society, for the major changes coming, and most prefer the comfort of business as usual, even if that is seen as a struggle as recession approaches. Many of the changes we need to make continue to be undermined by the ongoing availability of expansionist ways of living (politics and economics) and relatively cheap fuel and electricity. In the meantime, those of us who are interested and involved can build our own resilience through knowledge and quiet preparation, local networking like this, debt minimisation, reducing our fuel and import dependence, and developing our own systems of local produce and transport.

  • Refer Chapter 9 pp 123-130 Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook

B.        Community Group Purpose.

  • Facilitates movement toward the vision.
  • Facilitates the psychology of change within the Nelson community.
  • Community Resilience means getting the skills and supports ready to meet the challenges ahead.


  • Janet: Community group individuals start with themselves in their hearts and their minds (Zone zero zero *). Then with our houses, then our immediate neighbours, then our street, the suburb, the city and the other groups in Transition Nelson. E.g. inviting the neighbours to tea, dinner or b.b.q. Have a street party. Janet and Erik to approach the Nelson neighbourhood Support coordinator with a view to discovering what we have in common and what we can do for each other. The goal will be for every community member to open their own neighbourhood support network in their immediate neighbourhood.
  • Ted: Re-integrate indigenous ideas into out community by developing conversation with the local marae. Ted has begun the process and will aim to establish a meeting with our local marae for the community group as a whole.
  • Janja: Connecting the elderly to the whole community. They have reliable information, we need to find reasons to have them involved so we can learn what we will need from them. Janja to develop a skills database of our community group along the lines of the Glen community (Ketana outlined these a few meetings ago).

Finish: 6.30pm

Next Meeting:  

CHANGE Of VENUE Penny Olsen's house, 28 Atawhai Drive.

NEW TIME  5.30pm 21 November 2008.

B.Y.O. nibbles, food and drink, or not, as suits you.


1.   Report back on the progress of projects listed above.

2.   Bring some new projects to the group in which you are interested.



*     Permaculture term from Britain.


0    =          Your house

00  =          Your internal self.

Transition at zone 00 level is moving away from the current dominant philosophy that each individual is entirely self-contained. Whereas Permaculture recognises that a cultural model based on working within a community / tribe, appears to be the main sustainable model for humanity.