On the 10th. Jan. 2017 we had a return visit from Corrina Tucker from Massey University.
She had been in our area April 2016 doing Environmental Research and gave a report on her preliminary findings to our group. The research is exploring issues of ‘environmental consciousness’ and what prompts and influences people to make the choices that they do, eg on an ethical, political and spiritual basis. Corrina did several more interviews whilst up here.
One of the key findings has been that engagement with environmental issues as an adult predominantly has it’s roots in childhood experiences. This emphasises the need to support environmental awareness programmes for children in schools, early education and through clubs and other networks to reach those who don’t already have whānau engagement.
She also talked about “Just Zilch” which is an organisation set up in Palmerston North that she is involved with. It is run by volunteers who collect unsaleable or surplus from local factories, producers, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants to distribute to the needy people from their warehouse base. Most of the food is perishable and would often have otherwise ended up as landfill. There is no asking as to why people come for the food but they are limited to taking enough for ‘today’. This is a very good service for the underprivileged and those who have been caught short for whatever reason, and many of the volunteers have started off as ‘customers’. When the quantity of food donated is more than they need it is distributed through a broad network of local community organisations, and this has led to much stronger networking and sharing of resources.