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Riverton rocks: support the pilot for social and economic rejuvenation and resilience in rural NZ

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, May 31st, 2021 - 12 comments
Categories: business, economy, food, sustainability - Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today is the final day of the Longwood Loop’s Pledgeme (closes 4pm). They’re near to achieving their goal and need a bit more support to reach the target. Rivertonian Robert Guyton commented in Open Mike yesterday,

Last week, weka published a post on the Longwood Loop and our efforts to raise funds to buy an electric van that will travel the circuit from small town to little village in Southland, moving locally-produced fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey and whatever else locals produce, to other locals, waiting expectantly at the various “trading posts’ along the loop.

We’re thinking of, and pitching this as “a pilot for social and economic rejuvination and reslience in rural NZ”, which is exactly what it is. With $47,400 raised already we are close to our target of $51 000 – we need just $3 600 more and have 36 hours left in our PledgeMe campaign to reach that target.

Could you, would you (I won’t say, “you should 🙂 please give a little and share this message ( there are some great rewards: Wild South honey, Southern NZ scenic calendar, produce hamper, forest-garden tours (these are very ably narrated 🙂 meals and accomodation and more.


The details, from the Pledgeme page,

The Longwood Loop is a community food resilience loop, that connects the small rural towns surrounding the Longwood Mountains in Western Southland. Our electric van will travel from town to town bringing fresh, locally grown and made food to community hubs, picking up more produce to bring to the next hub. Everything would be ordered on an online “farmers market’ so buyers know who grows the food and where.

The Longwood Loop will provide an important outlet for food growers and crafts people to sell what they produce, and will increase access to good food, and community connection for many in Western Southland, once established this van will serve 3 more “Loops” each week covering more than half of rural Southland.

When there is some form of natural disaster or transport disruption, we have only 3 days supply of food in our supermarkets, as this food comes from all over the world and only a tiny fraction of it comes from the Southland region.  Now is the time, before disaster strikes, to re-localise some of our basic needs – things that we can grow and produce locally.

The Longwood Loop & the Electric Van to the rescue!

Re-localising will bring rejuvenation and resilience to our small country towns – food growers and producers will have access to the low-cost transport loop: their market will grow to 4,000+ people without having to leave their township. This will considerably reduce costs for producers, leading to lower prices for consumers.

This is a pilot for re-localising food for rural NZ – we have an online platform where locals can buy directly from locals, and with the electric van we are raising money for, no producer or consumer need to go more than 10km to buy or sell food through a trading hub.

This will socially, economically and environmentally benefit rural NZ: If just 20% of rural NZ spent just 20% of their current food bill locally, 1.5 million dollars would go back to rural NZ each week!

This van is initially for Western Southland and will travel 165km around the Longwood mountain range. Once we have this working well we will do 3 more loops with this one van: Central Southland, Northern Southland and Fiordland, at least once a week.

We have already received $36,000 from Community Trust South for this fabulous new e-deliver van: this campaign is for the balance. It is $5,000 more for the larger battery, so $20,000 pledged would be ideal. If we get pledged more than we need we will subsidise the running costs of the van while trading builds up. Eventually it will be self-funding with 10% of all trade used to run the loop. You can watch a review of the e-deliver here: https://youtu.be/IiCN2OrMMqo

South Coast Enviromnent Society  is a registered charity so all pledges are tax deductable and we email reciepts on request.

If you would like to support the project, donations can be made on the Pledgeme page.

Longwood Loop on Facebook and the web.

12 comments on “Riverton rocks: support the pilot for social and economic rejuvenation and resilience in rural NZ ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    It does too! Today, we're on tenterhooks, with fingers and toes crossed that we'll make the PledgeMe target and be able to buy the electric van we need for the Longwood Loop project. It's taken a great deal of work; communicating our vision and objectives to everyone who will listen: (my wife's remarkably determined; smilingly determined! 🙂

    If you're able to help she'd be ever so grateful 🙂

    • weka 1.1

      Good luck!

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Thanks, weka. We're edging toward our target with a generous pledge from someone who must have woken up happy this morning! 🙂

    • Tricledrown 1.2

      Beautiful part of New Zealand .This could be replicated.

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        That is our hope. We have already made a number of "runs" around the loop, moving goods, establishing protocols etc. Coupled with an elegant ap, (and an electric vehicle) this system will be an ideal model; lots of good things emanate from Southland 🙂

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Only $300 to go!

    Only 42 minutes left 🙂

    NZ $14,700 pledged

    122 people pledged

    42 minutes left

    NZ $15,000 minimum target

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Great news and thanks very much whoever, wherever! Robyn'll be delighted, as will all those people along the Longwood loop who will be able to trade the goods they grow and make, with each other, outside of the "usual system".

    Next, bringing the van down from Auckland 🙂

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Especially, thanks, weka heart

    • weka 4.1

      You are welcome. I’m happy for you all! Cannot wait to see what amazing things you do 💚

  5. weka 5

    Still doing a little happy dance. Hope you got to celebrate well.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      Happy times in our household last night 🙂

      Today though, I've an ailing estuary to visit, and a meeting with tangata when over water quality, and Robyn's teaching high school music and managing the environment centre, so we kept our celebrations pretty quiet 🙂

      Very pleased though.

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