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Whanganui Green Drinks

Is next on: 

5:30pm Tuesday, 11th April 2017
Whanganui Green Drinks are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month.

April Venue: Delicious Cafe & Winebar, 132 Victoria Ave, Whanganui

April Special Event: "Flood Risk in a Climate Changed World: What's next for Whanganui?"

After last week's reminder about Whanganui's risk of flooding, and with the awareness of climate change exacerbating this risk, this is an opportune time to start a conversation within the local green community about what's next for Whanganui - what are the threats, and what might be solutions?

The following guests have kindly agreed, at short notice, to be part of an informal panel discussion - to respond to questions, share insights, and participate in the conversation with Green Drinkers: Cr Jenny Duncan (WDC), Cr Nicola Patrick (Horizons Regional Council), and Ramon Strong (Horizons Group Manager for river management).  Possible other guests TBC.

This will be a facilitated conversation, open to all, to share ideas & thoughts about Whanganui's future in a climate changed world...

Come along to mix & meet with other sustainably-minded individuals, business people and organisations in Whanganui - all welcome and no entry cost. 

Any queries to whanganuigreendrinks@gmail.com.

See you there!

2017 Green Drinks Dates for your diary (all Tuesdays, 5:30pm):

May 9th
June 13th
July 11th
August 8th
September 12th
October 10th
November 14th
December 12th

:: Previously at Whanganui Green Drinks...

-- 2017 --

March Green Drinks: 
Our guest speaker for March was Marianne Archibald, the new CEO of the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce.  Marianne was the driving force behind many of Whanganui District Council's digital initiatives and she also has a background in Environmental Law.  Marianne spoke about how intelligent communities are environmentally sustainable communities and asked us the question: What sort of community do we want to create?

February Green Drinks: We had a special treat for our February Green Drinks...  We went bush!  Or rather, wetland, with our guest speaker Ari Bailey.  Ari hosted us for a BBQ & tour of the Putiki Native Reserve, Riri A Te Hori 2 - a remarkable local wetland restoration project she has made happen, with hre brother Judd.   Ari gave us a brief overview of restoration/transformation/papakainga projects and we took a guided tour down to the wetland then came up for a fantastic BBQ & potluck kai. 

See the Sustainable Whanganui facebook page for pics from this Green Drinks (thanks John Milnes for the snaps). Y
ou can read more about the project in this article from the Chronicle back in 2014, and find more details & pics here to see the ongoing transformation from farmland back to wetland...

This Green Drinks was so much fun we decided to make it a yearly event!  So if you missed out, never fear - we'll see you there next year.  Follow the Sustainable Whanganui Facebook page for news of upcoming working bees at Riri A Te Hori 2.

January Green Drinks: We paid tribute to a much loved and respected member of our community, and fellow Green Drinker, Dr Chris Cresswell. Chris was the archetypal healer, whether that be through surgery, reiki, or simply a kind word or gesture. Determined to make the world a better place - and pronto! - he would turn the proverbial lemons of this world into lemonade.  Chris inspired and supported others to do the same and his legacy will live on through the actions we continue to make in his absence.  

So, we invited our Green Drinkers to celebrate Chris' contribution to the environmental movement by sharing some inspiration or something we learned from him, and one action we will commit to this year within the green sphere to keep Chris' vision alive through 2017, and beyond...  It was a special celebration for an extra special man.

-- 2016 --

December Green Drinks: Our 3rd birthday!
We celebrated 3 years of Green Drinks in Whanganui and said a big "adios" to 2016...

November Green Drinks: Intrepid explorer Margi Keys was our November guest speaker. In Autumn 2016, Margi embarked on a Heritage Expeditions voyage to the Kermadecs, New Zealand’s northernmost territory.  The aims of the trip were fourfold: to find out about the proposed ocean sanctuary, learn about the history of Raoul, see the abundant bird life along the way and to snorkel with Galapagos sharks.  Margi’s candid presentation at Green Drinks included some of the action on and off the Spirit of Enderby, as well as photos taken ashore on Raoul Island/Rangitahua. 

October Green Drinks: Our thought-provoking October guest was Scott Lee who runs the 'Love and Money' workshops here in Whanganui, which aim to get people out of debt and having better money conversations in their relationships.  You may have read one of Scott's columns in the Chronicle, like this one here - you can find out more about the Love and Money workshops, and get some great tips, on the facebook page: facebook.com/loveandmoneynetwork.

September Green Drinks: Nicola Patrick discussed the Social Enterprise business model and what it could mean for Whanganui.  Find out more about Social Enterprise at the Akina Foundation website

August Green Drinks: There was a huge turn out for August Green Drinks with three guest speakers lined up.  First up, Phillip Holden, & friends, from the Matai Street Community Garden and Live For the Land updated us on their recent projects and goals - including a fundraiser to connect water supply for the gardens (click here to support).
We were then joined by Agriculture Lecturer Jake Schultz who introduced his upcoming Ucol programmes on Basic Beekeeping and Urban Horticulture...
Last but not least, Margi Keys & Frances Taylor presented their Den of Dragons entry 'Spring into Whanganui' - a proposed new garden tour event which made the finals of the competition, missed out on the top prize, but is now set to go ahead with community support!

July: Mayor Annette Main - the outgoing Mayor reflected on her two terms at the helm of the good ship Whanganui, giving us a personal, frank and unmediated account of her journey to becoming Mayor - and received a well-deserved standing ovation from Green Drinkers in turn.  Nga mihi nui Annette!

June: In June we welcomed Marama Davidson to Whanganui where she inspired and entertained a packed house.  Marama, the newest Green MP in the house, hails from Manurewa and is the Green Party spokesperson on Māori Affairs, Human Rights, Social Housing and Pacific Peoples.  Marama has a proud history of social justice & activism at a grassroots level as well as ten years work with the Human Rights Commission.  As well as being mother to six, Marama blogs and stays active on social media - she is well known and loved for #keepingitreal in the midst of a hectic political life.  If you want to get informed, and have a good belly laugh, you can find her on facebook and twitter...  Kia ora & nga mihi to EA Jack McDonald (also the Greens Te Tai Hauauru candidate) for your good work bringing Marama here!

May: In what was possibly our biggest Green Drinks yet with around 50 attendees, guest speaker Duncan Sinclair of Black Pine Architects report back from the 2016 International Straw Building Conference held in Methven in March.  Duncan was followed by Hadi Gurton Melinda Hatherly from the Whanganui Hemp Collective who discussed their recent harvesting experiences, the potential for hemp as an industry crop for our region, and its application as a natural building material among other uses.  Watch this space!

April: Thanks to Tanea Tangaroa who is leading the Te Ripo Kokohuia wetland regeneration for giving an inspiring and informative introduction to the project.  Working bees at the wetland will be held monthly - the most recent was featured in an article in the Whanganui Chronicle - see the Te Ripo Kokohuia facebook page for updates and opportunities to participate in the future.  

March: In conjunction with La Fiesta and to celebrate International Women's Day, we welcomed guest speaker Rachel Stewart back to her hometown of Whanganui - "a little city with soul"...  Possibly the most outspoken woman in the NZ print media landscape, Rachel Stewart has been a columnist for the Taranaki Daily NewsManawatu Standard, and for Fish & Game, writing in defense of the environment from the dark heart of NZ's dual-polluting oil/gas & dairy industries, New Plymouth.  Recent commentaries by Rachel Stewart include the changing tide of public opinion on water quality, and the unfortunate oversharing of the PM...  

Thanks to fellow columnist and last year's La Fiesta Green Drinks speaker, Nicola Young for a glowing introduction on the evening.

February: Peter Watson, Quaker Peace and Environmental Activist, gave an inspiring illustrated talk about the 'green' aspects of his very recent trip to Palestine - including the Tent of Nations farm near Bethlehem.

January 2016: Well-known local conservationists Peter & Ella Grant spoke about the Whanganui Science Forum which they launched late last year in an effort to boost scientific literacy - which they believe will be vital for the decisions we need to make in the future.  Recent speakers at the forum have included Prof Ralph Chapman, VUW, and freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy.  To get on the Science Forum mailing list please email: Peter Grant  

We also had a brief updates from Forest & Bird's Esther Williams and Whanganui Regional Museum's Curator of Natural History, Mike Dickison, about the upcoming Bushy Park BioBlitz on Feb 13-14, and the Whanganui Summer Programme.

Thank you to Mayor Annette Main and Melinda Hatherly for giving a heartfelt tribute to a much-loved Whanganui woman Judith Timpany who passed away the previous week.

-- 2015 --

December 2015:  Eric Jansseune, Environmental Solar Engineer at EWA TEC Global swung by Whanganui to entertain us; he schooled us on solar energy and recent projects bringing solar power to schools and marae around the country - including the now well-known 'Tuhoe building' - Te Wharehou O Tuhoe.

November:  Whanganui Green Drinks gatherings continue to grow... Charles Ranginui of Charles Ranginui Adventure Tours and photographer of the Whanganui Awa, shared his journeys on the river with over 40 attendees as part of our celebrations of Whanganui River Week 2015.

 In our largest Green Drinks yet, around 40 people gathered to hear Janet R. Bradbury, writer/illustrator, and Mark Christensen of Heritage Food Crops Research Trust speak about heritage golden tomatoes as featured in their new illustrated children's book "Jessica and the Golden Orb".

This event also coincided with Seed Freedom fortnight - a call to action for living seed and living soil.  To find out more and hear a message from Dr Vandana Shiva click here.

September:  Shane Middlemiss introduced to us the concept of Conscious Enterprise as an emerging path to one planet abundance for all (and an escape plan for cubicle monkeys!).

August: Our 21st Green Drinks in Whanganui!  Green drinkers celebrated with a round of ideas for the next 21 Green Drinks in Whanganui.

July: Green Drinks co-host and Sustainable Business Network connector, Duncan Sinclair of Black Pine Architects gave feedback from a recent PassivHaus conference in Leipzig, Germany, and also his visits to Hempcrete buildings in Ireland.

June: Brainstorm! Twas the season for storms, so we opened the session up for a good ol' brainstorm devoted to great green ideas for our town and shared visions for a future that we are all part of shaping - for ourselves and generations to come...

May: Phillip Holden and friends from 'Live for the Land', a new community-oriented Whanganui gardening cooperative, introduced the group's projects and philosophy.  See Live for the Land's website and join their facebook group to get involved.  Thanks to Shane Middlemiss for hosting on the night.

April: Clive Aim gave an illustrated talk 'Clive's Cob Cottage - Fairly Green?' describing the process of building his handmade cob cottage, near Lismore Forest, which followed on from a recent open day fundraiser at the house.

March: Nicola Young was our guest speaker in conjunction with La Fiesta!  Nicola is a well-known ex-Whanganui-ite, current Whanganui Chronicle columnist, and an environmental consultant now living in Taranaki.  She is also a supermum of two and her topic was “Walking the Talk – being a mum and having a career in sustainability – how do you achieve balance without cutting (too many) corners?”.  Thanks so much to Nicola for making the journey down to be with us.

February:  Carla Donson spoke about La Fiesta! and running the Whanganui Women's Network.  Travelling poet Devi Lockwood (One Bike, One Year) got a chance to share her story and penned this great column about her time in Whanganui. Thanks also to Melinda Hatherly and Robin Williamson for hosting on the night.

January 2015: Whanganui Green Drinkers regrouped around an impromptu banquet table to welcome in the new year and share 2015 resolutions.

-- 2014 --

December 2014: Around 30 Green Drinkers jumped on their Sixty Second Soapbox which covered subjects as diverse as the participants, including: edible lillies to digital strategies, climate change to the H debate, the need for compassion to building with shipping containers...  Wow!  What a fantastic evening.  Thanks so much to everyone for participating, and especially to John Milnes for being timekeeper.

November: Kritzo Venter, Senior Stormwater Engineer at the Whanganui District Council, gave feedback on some of the new techniques that have been implemented over the last couple of years in Whanganui to proactively manage stormwater through Low Impact Development techniques - including the new rain-gardens along Taupo Quay, swales at the Aramoho Cemetery and a green brush wall for the vertical stabilisation of the banks of the Kaikokopu stream. This was an introduction to Mr Venter's full presentation covering these points of discussion on Thursday 13th Nov, 7-9pm at the Davis Theatre as part of Whanganui River Week.
A late arrival, Andy Maloney, e-biked up from Wellington to talk to us about his pest eradication fundraiser for Henderson Island.  Andy, a veterinary surgeon with a conscience, is biking from Zealandia to Tiritiri Matangi to raise money for a bird sanctuary on the remote Pitcairn Island...  Find out more about the project here and make a donation here.  All donations will be equally matched by a wonderfully generous US donor.

October: Pat Garrett of Delicious Cafe & Winebar brought us their behind-the-scenes hospo-sustainability biz-tips...

September: Dr Mike Dickison, Curator of Natural History at the Whanganui Regional Museum introduced two of his pet projects - the Museum's new Moa Gallery exhibition, and Wiki Wednesdays - an initiative to put Whanganui on the Wikipedia map...

August: Anton Skipworth, Jill Hobbs and Mark Dyhrberg from Trade Aid spoke about fair trade and sustainability: how Trade Aid are 'greening' trade.

July: Merania Karauria spoke about Waiora Float, the ultimate in relaxation and more...  With Claudette Morgan who, 30 years ago with her sisters, operated their float sanctuary on the Gold Coast. 

June: Esther Williams from the Whanganui branch of Forest and Bird spoke about F&B's Kiwi Conservation Club and how kids can get involved in conservation.

May:  May Green Drinks successfully fused the sustainable community with the business sector in an unprecedented move to forge 'greener' business relationships and opportunities in Whanganui.  
Co-hosted by the Whanganui Employers Chamber of Commerce and Sustainable Whanganui Trust, May Green Drinks was held in the Education Room at the new Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre, 83 Maria Place.  
For attendees, this was an opportunity to network outside of the corporate box while exploring the potential for progressive and environmentally sound business practices, all without compromising economic prosperity – or costing the earth.  Guest speakers from Sustainable Whanganui Trust spoke about the presence, purpose and progress of SWT at the WRRC, and putting recycling into action in business. 

Pints & Pizza!  Keeping refreshments local, we had fresh beer on tap thanks to craft brewers The Bloom Theory, and hot woodfired pizza from Flamin' Dragon Pizza.  

A big thank you to all of our sponsors for this event: Creative Aluminium, Burgess Matting, the Sisters of St Joseph and Sustainable Whanganui Trust

April: Rachel Rose spoke about a project she is hatching to deepen neighbourhood connections while building compost, inspired by Seattle Tilth's "Master Composter/Soil Builder" programme. 

March: Jason Quinn of Sustainable Engineering Ltd. led a discussion based around engineering the transition to a sustainable world. 

February: Helen Marie O'Connell of the Whanganui Film Society gave an introduction to the 'Future Proof Films' - four future oriented, solutions based documentaries aimed at inspiring positive change which screened in February as part of her Tall Stories Film Fest.  Lyneke Onderwater from Whanganui Bicycle Users Group (WBUG) gave an update on Bikewise Month and a mention of the upcoming talk about her cycle travels through Africa and the Americas. 

January 2014: Shane Middlemiss spoke of his intention to establish a Bright Green sustainable development conference in Whanganui, as well as giving some informative background on the 'Bright Green' philosophy.

-- 2013 --

December 2013:  
The inaugural Whanganui Green Drinks, held at Delicious Cafe & Wine Bar, saw around 30 people attending throughout the evening from many different backgrounds & interests.  Duncan Sinclair, of Black Pine Architects, introduced his role as the Sustainable Business Network connector for Whanganui.  Impromptu electric car demo also followed thanks to local bloke Chris Northover.

:: Have something to say?  Contact us at whanganuigreendrinks@gmail.com if you would like to book in as a guest speaker.

:: Want to host or sponsor an event?  Green Drinks may rove to local venues with a sustainable motive by request, simply contact us to arrange.

:: Whanganui Green Drinks is a non-profit sustainable networking event co-organised each month on a voluntary basis by Helen Marie O'Connell and Duncan Sinclair.  If you would like to get involved, or contribute in any way, please get in touch with us at whanganuigreendrinks@gmail.com - we would love to hear from you!

:: For sustainability news and happenings in Whanganui we recommend joining the Sustainable Whanganui googlegroup ::