Valerie Bianchi, left, and Anna Cunningham from                                                                                                            Whaingaroa Environment Centre are excited about the launch of their pilot programme.

Get behind-the-scenes at Raglan’s top environmental endeavours on a Raglanite tour

A Whāingaroa Environment Centre pilot programme aims to show visitors and locals behind-the-scenes at some of Raglan’s top environmental enterprises.

Aimed at connecting people to some of the inspiring sustainably-minded people and organisations in Whaingaroa, the first Raglanite tour of Kaiwhenua Organics, Xtreme Zero Waste and the Whāingaroa Environment Centre on Saturday, October 13 is for locals only at a reduced price of $40 instead of $65.

So far, Karioi Maunga kit e Moana, Plastic Bag Free Raglan, Xtreme Zero Waste, Taunga Kereru permaculture farm, Kaiwhenua Organics, Solscape and the environment centre will take part in the tours, and project managers Valerie Bianchi and Anna Cunningham hope to grow the project and offer tours to visitors, corporates, local government and tertiary education groups.

Another three tours as part of the pilot will follow with a one-day community and environment tour to Taunga Kereru and workshops with Plastic Bag Free Raglan/Bag It Raglan and Karioi Maunga ki Te Moana.

On Saturday, November 10, a sustainable Raglan tour starts with presentation by the WEC and a small beach clean, followed by workshops by Plastic Bag Free Raglan/Bag It Raglan and Karioi Maunga ki te Moana.

The final tour is a weekend retreat of sustainability and yoga at Solscape on December 1 and 2.

Having consulted with the organisations involved, Raglan ECOllective Tours Valerie and Anna say the project will not only help WEC become more sustainable and less reliant on funding, they will also take off some of the pressure of these organisations to provide educational opportunities for the general public.

“We asked ourselves what does WEC do well. We know we are good at admin and environmental education.  We want to share the good news stories about the environment and we are really fortunate in Raglan to have so many experts in this field,” Valerie says.

“There so many negative stories in the news about the environment and they are not very inspiring or motivating. We hope these tours will provide motivation for people to make little changes in their lives,” Anna says.

The tours will be led by Tiaki Coates, who Valerie says is a great at connecting with people and telling the stories of Whaingaora.

For more information about the tours check out facebook.com/raglanecollective/ or email tours@whaingaroa.org.nz.

Janine Jackson