Community Scoop

Community Energy Network Co-Hosts Community Resilience Hui

Press Release – Community Energy Network

Community Energy Network (CEN) , the Zero Waste Network and Environment Hubs Aotearoa are joining forces to host a hui in Wellington this week on the most innovative ways to strengthen New Zealands communities.Community Energy Network Co-Hosts Community Resilience Hui

Community Energy Network (CEN), the Zero Waste Network and Environment Hubs Aotearoa are joining forces to host a hui in Wellington this week on the most innovative ways to strengthen New Zealand’s communities.

Taking place at the Silverstream Retreat Centre in Lower Hutt on 17 and 18 October, 2018from 8.30am, the two-day hui is in its third year.

With the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s IPCC) new climate report, never has there been a more important time for the country to develop strategies that build resilient communities.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw will be the first to take the floor on Wednesday morning, discussing how communities can engage with tackling climate change.

The hui brings together charitable organisations and community groups from across Aotearoa working on the frontline to develop sustainable systems-driven solutions for housing, energy, waste and environmental management.

“It’s clear that we have to change the way we do things and we have to do it right now,” explains Community Energy Network Executive Officer Gareth Cartwright.

“For the health and wellbeing of the people of Aotearoa, it is urgent that we identify ways we can work together to cost-effectively build resilience across all of our communities, especially for our most vulnerable.”

On the second-day, the hui – in partnership with the Akina Foundation – will focus on social enterprise and the role of socially responsible investment in strengthening communities.

A study led by the University of Otago’s Professor of Public Health Philippa Howden-Chapman into the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) programme – which subsidises the costs of retro-fitting insulation for pre-2000 houses – found that for every dollar spent, five dollars were saved in our health system.

Meanwhile globally, social investment has a proven and powerful economic return. “For every $1 spent on funding through a community enterprise, that $1 goes around the community three times and it saves $5 on hospital admissions,” says Mr Cartwright.

Taking this kind of holistic, systems-based approach to improving poor quality housing is at top of CEN’s agenda.

“One of the most important policies to achieve this is the Government’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Act, which has the potential to have a huge positive impact on the roughly 40% of Kiwis that live in rental properties,” says Mr Cartwright.

CEN is pushing for useful standards for tenants and landlords – including minimum temperatures of 20 degrees in living areas, 16 degrees in bedrooms and moisture barriers installed under every house that has a cavity.

Community Energy Network (CEN) Background Notes
Community Energy Network (CEN) is a nationwide hub of community organisations. The organisation and its regional members are experts in delivering warm, dry healthy homes that save money, save lives, create employment and connect communities. Over the past 15 years, CEN members have improved more than 100,000 homes, making them warm, dry and healthy places to live. CEN are working closely with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to develop the requirements for the healthy homes sector. For more info, head here.

Zero Waste Network Background Notes
Zero Waste Network is a nationwide hub of community organisations. Their mission is to connect, educate, enable and inspire members to reach their zero waste goals and to be a unifying voice in the sector. Zero Waste Network is committed to finding ways to reduce waste, create jobs and engage communities about how to become a zero waste world. For more info, head here.

Environment Hubs Aotearoa Background Notes
Environment Hubs Aotearoa is the national umbrella for local organisations that help Kiwis take practical action in their homes, neighbourhoods, workplaces and wild places. Our members are a network of Environment Centres and other entities that act as a local hub for information, events, networks and projects that make a difference to our world. By collaborating nationally, we deliver better local solutions for global challenges. For more info, here here.

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