Three members of the CIBR Social and Cultural team (Joanna Goven, Jamie Ataria and Alan Leckie,(photo credit Keith Murphy)) took part in an ohu or whānau (family) working bee one Sunday in July at Te Pā o Rākaihautū (Te Pā), a designated special character school in Christchurch which has a strong culture of creating transformational behaviour change including around environmental sustainability. They helped whānau prepare the māra kai (veggie garden) and erect a whare whakaata (greenhouse). The māra kai was weeded, dug over and mulched and will be spelled until the winter weather has passed and seeds have been sown in the whare whakaata by pononga (students) for transplanting into the school’s māra kai. This kai will supplement other fresh vegetables used in preparing breakfast and lunches at Te Pā for pononga. Kaitiakitanga or a Māori cultural sustainability ethos is practiced at Te Pā by management and forms a part of environmental education. The production of kai and composting green and other carbon wastes underpin a ‘closing the loop’ ethic which is very important for the future of this “place-based learning” and which has become part of Te Pā’s identity and culture. Students will see that the grounds of Te Pā will become their own “place” within their greater community.
This initiative was part of the Social and Cultural team’s collaborative working with Te Tautarinui (Board of Trustees) and Te Pā’s staff to look at waste production and reuse, cleaning-chemical use and opportunities for composting waste streams, including biowastes. The team are examining chemicals used for cleaning and biowaste collection, reuse and impact. Vermicomposting and open-air composting methods are being discussed, and a visit has been planned to a commercial vermicomposting site to see how putrescibles are composted. Research to explore transformational behaviour changes initiated by students, and how best to capture these changes, has also been planned and is supported by CIBR over the next three years.
Demand has been strong for the Social and Cultural Team’s two recent publications Community Engagement Framework and the ‘From Tapu to Noa’ report, which were widely distributed last year to councils, Iwi and participants at the NZ Land Treatment Collective conference in Gisborne. Additional requests have been received for 25-30 copies of the report on tapu and noa. Tapu is often understood to mean forbidden or restricted and noa, ordinary or free from restriction. This report provides a summation of many years of work with communities around New Zealand and is intended to guide non-Māori towards a better understanding of the right questions to ask in their conversations and engagement with local hapū and Iwi regarding biowaste and biosolids issues. It also is designed to support local government staff and engineers in better understanding and incorporating Māori worldviews into biowaste management negotiations and solutions. If you have not got a copy of either report for your use yet, paper copies can be obtained from Alan Leckie, Scion, or electronic copies can be downloaded from CIBR’s website http://cibr.org.nz/news/cibr-reports/(external link) .
Page update 8/9/2017