Blueskin Bay

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, November 24th, 2015 - 28 comments
Categories: Environment, global warming, sustainability - Tags:

blueskin turbine

Blueskin Bay is one of those idyllic places you drive past on State Highway One and think, wow, unspoiled and underdeveloped New Zealand beach that is incredibly pretty, and the tiny number of people within those houses are so, so lucky to have chosen to live there. And the subtext is: maybe I will find a place like that. Maybe some day.

But then, it’s hard. Walk out of whatever comfortable thing you are in. And you keep driving.

It’s on the coast north of Dunedin. In 2006 there was a huge flood in the area, and as a result whole bunches of people realized they could aspire to something.

What this kind of community is, is an alternative to national-level and party politics.
People altering their communities by pulling together their local resources and trying really really hard.
Their main activities are:

  1. Blueskin Wind Cluster;
  2. Climate Change Planning;
  3. Economic Power;
  4. Social and Environmental Good;
  5. Effective Advocacy.

But here’s the really inspiring thing.

Having established their first wind turbine, they are now planning a whole bunch more.

I am sure they have their own internal tensions, and who knows it could all end in tears.
So far it’s proceeding among joy.

Making intentional community work, and then proposing to expand their little unit of aggregated capital into something far bigger?

Inspiring.

28 comments on “Blueskin Bay”

  1. Paul Campbell 1

    Of course they have their internal tensions – wind power is actually quite controversial

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/363928/wind-farm-dissent-vented

    • Ad 1.1

      Never fails to amaze me that you can fill hall full of people trying to stop something, and struggle to fill a phonebooth with people trying to start something new.

      Little hint to Blueskin Bay proponents: never again agree to a meeting format where you stand up the front, the crowd just gets to cross its arms, and there’s no limit on the question time.

      Net time try an Open Day. Trust me.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Good idea about the Open Day. But public meetings are important too. I reckon it’s a good opportunity for them to now answer the questions more fully and put all that up on the website. Open and transparent. The way the ODT covered it is not satisfactory, looks like a he says/she says thing, which is unhelpful.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          It’s the oppositional framing that does it. It’s all in the crowd dynamics that you choose to form.

          Open Days are where you get reams of your leadership and your subbie specialists, put a whole bunch of displays out with material to take away, and get coffee and biscuits ready for everyone, and then the punters roll on for a whole day, and it’s all about one-on-one conversations until everyone is satisfied.

          And if a group of protesters builds up outside the door, as sometimes they do, then you get coffee ready for them, and invite them in, and you talk and talk all afternoon until they are exhausted, and agree to differ, and there’s comments from both sides in the media rather than the typical ‘we hate this’ from one side.

          Trust me I’ve done a few.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            Which I assume satisfies the project. I was thinking about the community. It’s a good strategy (write a post on that sometime please!!), I just don’t see why it precludes meetings as well.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Because that oppositional form is essentially destructive for the community, as well as the proponents. The standard legislative direction is to fight, ending in litigation. Occasionally that’s the only way, but very rarely in my experience.

              Mostly the community and the proponents get to really refine down the sources of the opposition, and in turn for the proponents to offer mitigation to solve it. This strengthens the community and the proponents.

          • Bill 1.1.1.1.2

            Agree. Good idea executed using old fashioned format = bad idea. Shame really.

            I also wonder how much knee jerk opposition is a left-over ripple from the proposal to put mills up in the high country?

    • left for deadshark 1.2

      Paul did you see the ( Birds & Wind Turbines Don’t Mix ) add in last weeks ODT, not sure were you fall on this,but I think its something too be encouraged, any community incentive should be looked at seriously, I know about about some of the land stability , an bird strike issues (don’t mention that cats and other pests) take a large toll.
      Must agree with Ad, lovely spot. I have lived in Waitati, Seacliff and Warrington.

      Might be a bit naff, but “but power to the people” good luck for those that arebacking/supporting this project.

      • Paul Campbell 1.2.1

        I too have lived in Waitati (but not for 30-odd years) – I do have friends who are in that picture, and who are worried about the noise and the birds, they see the power people as part of an outside energy company rather than a local startup (maybe it’s a Waitati vs. Warrington thing?)

        Generally I’m all for wind, and I don’t mind sacrificing a few seagulls – land stability there is a real issue, the Kilmog is a movable feast, reportedly the most expensive stretch of railway to maintain in NZ – but that’s an engineering problem.

        One of the really sad things about the govt selling off the energy companies is the lack of synergy between wind and hydro …. they compete rather than work together …. the Clyde dam has a couple of unused penstocks, they could add a couple more turbines to handle higher peak loads, and let the lake fill when the wind blows and empty it when it doesn’t.

        • left for deadshark 1.2.1.1

          @ Paul….Good points, thats about my time frame to, for living out that way.

          🙂

  2. Interesting Ad. Will continue to look on with interest. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kiwiri 3

    I am posting this to make this appear in the box to the right.
    For some reason, this post was seen earlier this morning but then disappeared from the homepage when I returned a while ago.

    Rocky: can you look into this while Superman LPrent is away? please?
    Also, there seems to be a problem about picking up comments that people have made. Sometimes, indication that they have commented appear in the box to the right but, on clicking at the specific item, an old page of TS appears.
    And I don’t think this is because the comment is being (re)edited when I am trying to go to comment. I think there is a problem with TS pages refreshing or updating, or something. The page that appears is sometimes only showing comments a good hour behind.

    • r0b 3.1

      I’m having problems with seeing out-dated versions of pages often too. Probably something to do with the multiple layers of caching that go on these days. If a page seems out of date refresh / reload it manually. Let us know if that helps…

    • Bill 3.2

      Been having that problem for weeks on end now. Have adjusted to treat it as a quirk.

      • Kiwiri 3.2.1

        Heh. After my comment below, the ‘reply’ to specific comments are now back.
        Quirkiness, indeed.
        Or chance. Off I go to get an Instant Kiwi.

  4. savenz 4

    +100 – nice post.

  5. Kiwiri 5

    No luck. Again. And the ‘reply’ to specific comments have now disappeared.

  6. Fabulatum 6

    Excellent place for you all!

  7. just saying 7

    Hi Ad,
    This kind of model interests me.
    I don’t think it is anywhere near as ethically neutral as you are implying. Correct me if I’ve got this wrong, but it looks like this is a limited liability company which is owned by the share holders and networks with other private enterprises (mostly if not all other eco-ones from what I can see). It give some donations and the services it provides are useful, but they are privately owned businesses. Which would be fine except the share-holders are financially supported by the council, various charitable trusts and a team of free labour in the form of volunteers. I presume they are manged by some of the paid staff.

    edit here: Forgot to add I assume there is a strategically placed charitable trust in there somewhere>

    I know this is perfectly legal (if my quick perusal is correct), but I find it an exploitative model. It is becoming more and more prevalent.

  8. Ad 8

    JS, at a meeting right now.

    Their site lists and names all their officers, and outlines the structure.

    Heidegger would say that as soon as you conceive any part of the earth (even the wind!) as resource, you are already exploiting the earth.

    For degrees of exploitation, however, this is one of the lightest I’ve seen.

  9. millsy 9

    This model, although not perfect by any means, needs to be rolled out across the country.

    We need a government that empowers communities, not leave them beached on the shore, gasping for air.

    • just saying 9.1

      The very well-to-do know every angle to get money and free labour from every direction – charity, contra-deals, the hope and toil of others less fortunate than themselves, tax and rate-payers, financial support and favours from friends in high places They will get accolades and most of the benefits (not denying there are benefits for the community which is only fair considering what the community has donated without the benefits of actual ownership).

      I know the kind of really hard work that goes into this kind of thing and that there is risk (mitigated, again, by the taxpayer and community via limited liability and, let’s face it, they can all afford to take a big hit and still be very comfortably off). But the point is this kind of thing smacks of preparing the first class lifeboats on the titanic. For themselves as owners. I don’t think this model represents hope for the future, just recognition from the well-off that the shit is about to hit the fan, and suitable preparations for themselves.

      I guess this sounds harsh, I don’t mean it to be. I appreciate the innovation and dedication of these kinds of pioneers. I just wish they were able to put this into this energy and innovation into linking up for the collective well-being. Because life boats for some, ultimately means the ship sinks and the less fortunate drown first.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Have you tried something like this?

      • Ad 9.1.2

        Probably before you make huge sweeping generalisations about the financial capacity of the people involved in the group, go and ask them. Their accounts are audited. Just get a few facts before you start interviewing your typewriter again.

        As for “first class lifeboats on the Titanic”, you’re going to have to explain why that’s a bad thing.
        You could run a “public network undermined” argument, which would be countered by it being a reasonable response to an almost-fully privatized electricity generator and retailer system.

        You could run a “wait for the Greens-Labour coalition to change everything” line, which would be countered by it having taken nearly a decade to achieve so far.

        You could run a “but it only includes Blueskin Bay people and it should invite the neighbours in” line, which would be countered by the standard point that a line really will be drawn somewhere, or actually nothing starts.

        You could run a “I’ve tried this with people and it doesn’t work” line, and you might get a bit of sympathy, until others tell you how their success worked.

        There’s a bunch of other lines you could have actually run.

        But instead you simply slammed people trying to make something good happen with gross smears without researching them and presuming that they are somehow privileged. If you don’t think what they are doing amounts to collective wellbeing, show us how.

        • just saying 9.1.2.1

          I’m sure there are good people involved. I wasn’t suggesting otherwise. It’s more the model I wanted to talk about than this particular project.

          It’s natural for people to want to protect themselves and their loved ones from the worst of what is to come, and it’s better that private enterprise fosters eco-developments than worse alternatives. But this is a left-wing blog and we discuss topics like the one you have raised here, from a political perspective. It’s not personal.

          As for the first-class lifeboats argument. I wish those with the education, social and finacial capital, the skills, the drive, and the pioneering spirit were more enabled to invest them in linking up with the wider community, in trying to save the whole ship. I’m sure that good people, as these kinds of people often are, do that as well, in different ways. But I feel a real unease about this kind of model, especially presented as a hope for the future. I think there is a tension between personal lifeboats and saving the ship, especially when the wider community is investing in others’ personal lifeboats.

          Most of all, I wish we had systems that fostered truly collective initiatives of this kind, because the system does foster this kind of private enterprise, the community helps in many ways, as I have talked about above.

          Ultimately for me, time will tell. The extent that such projects do link, consult and collaborate with, and respect and share the benefits with the wider community, will be the “proof of the pudding”. I’m really hoping to be pleasantly surprised, and I’m sure in some instances of this model, I will be.

          • Ad 9.1.2.1.1

            At the moment the only groupings that can aggregate people into politics in New Zealand is Parliament, Regional Councils, and local councils.

            You can evaluate pretty quickly whether they are going to generate “lifeboats” for, respectively, the entire country, regions, or cities and regional towns.

            Which leaves three other main organizing principles left in New Zealand: companies, trusts, and cooperatives.

            The proof of the pudding of all of them is there to see for the last century and a half.

            None will be perfect. For example, the West Auckland Licensing Trusts are a beneficial trust that gains income from operating bars, property, and investments. They donate dump trucks of cash into community projects, and have built major projects like the Waitakere Stadium in Henderson. They generally co-fund. You can only help run this show if you are elected.

            Whereas the ASB Trust is a legacy trust, and one is appointed onto that.

            Another is the WECT Trust, which owns 75% of Vector. This distributes its dividends in the form of cheques to everyone in its area. Again, you actually have to stand and get voted on.

            So you choose the model to fit the objectives, not the other way around.

            Now, if you’re wondering why people react when this kind of thing is criticized, it’s because setting this stuff up is hard, getting people to trust each other is hard, and then getting stuff done is really hard. It’s a chunk of your life. But that’s the only way to change a bit of the world for the long term.

            This is in some senses a petty little country. Check out how people feel when one tiny little branch waves a little stick at the big old Labour Party: 320 often bile-flecked comments and still going. Comments on an amazing project borne of straight community goodwill and with clear beneficiaries already going for nearly a decade: 26. If you think the politics of changing the world isn’t personal, your heart’s not in it. It’s personal to the death.

    • millsy 9.2

      Like I said, the model isn’t perfect.

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    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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