Restaurateur Fleur Sullivan, whose course will return to the Sustainable Skills Autumn School in April, shows her seaweed-rewana bread at the summer school in January. Photo by Ben Guild.
Nearly 30 courses will be on offer at Transition Oamaru and
Waitaki District's third sustainable skills school, to be
held throughout the district from April 14-24.
The courses, which change with the seasons, are intended to
build resilient, interconnected communities that utilise
their skills and resources in a more communal, sustainable
The autumn school, which includes several of the courses
offered in the summer school held in January, covers a wide
range of activities, including seed saving, identifying
edible seaweed, wood turning, preparing a hangi, making
sauerkraut, composting, making mud bricks and recycling car
Co-chairwoman of the group Nathalie Brown said that while the
skills offered might appear relatively trivial in the current
climate, they would one day prove more than useful.
"Transition Oamaru and Waitaki district is part of the
worldwide Transition Towns movement, which aims to help
communities prepare for a time in the near future when groups
and individuals will face dramatic changes to their present
way of life," she said.
"With the arrival of peak oil, oil and the products derived
from it are becoming increasingly scarce and prohibitively
"It is beginning to have a direct impact on communities
throughout New Zealand, and most people have already felt the
effects of the global financial crisis."
The country's current quality of life would prove
unsustainable, and skilled, local communities would need to
band together to become more self-reliant as a consequence,
Transition Oamaru and Waitaki District has its origins in the
Natural Heritage Society, Oamaru Inc (1999), which held three
weekend seminars in Oamaru between 2006 and 2008.
Academic experts representing the fields of geology,
mechanical engineering, physics and industrial design had
been hosted, as was the co-founder of permaculture design,
David Holmgren, in 2006.
Information on the autumn courses, which have changed in
number since the printing of promotional materials, is
available at i-SITES, libraries, from some businesses and
online at www.sustainableoamaru.org.nz.