photo-1420584502115-16a71be5f7b3.jpeg

 

Community Engagement Stories

Beyond Orokonui
Community Engagement

Design, Planning & Strategy
2014 - current

 

RhysMillar@ahika.co.nz
0273 877 866

 

We value our healthy natural environment and at Ahika we work closely with other like-minded groups to enhancing our place.

The Landscape Connections Trust has coordinated the development of this community-led vision and management strategy for the restoration and enhancement of the 55,000 hectare North Coast landscape, stretching from North Dunedin to Waikouaiti. This ambitious project, entitled “Beyond Orokonui”, has sought to develop a strategy that integrates multiple community objectives for the project area.  The strategy is now being turned into action!

For more information on this project see the Natural Environment stories page.

RM14 Otago Food Economy.jpeg

Otago Food Economy
Community Engagement

Research & Analysis
Completed 2016

 

RhysMillar@ahika.co.nz
0273 877 866

Niki.Bould@ahika.co.nz
03 477 9242

 

Engaging those who participate in local food economies is the only way to understand how food systems actually work, at Ahika we value talking to those who are actively engaged in the areas we work.

In February 2016, Ahika completed the Otago Food Economy project with a community toolkit as one of the outcomes.  We created the food economy toolkit to help others understand their own Local Food Economy (LFE) and to give them the tools to explore the capacity for their own town/city/region to supply its own food needs in a sustainable way.  Our toolkit provides the background research, case studies and step-by-step exercises for others to gather the information they need, as well as provide some processes and suggestions about how to then use the human assets in their community to explore the opportunities for potential positive change.

A LFE project involves three key steps. Firstly, to identify a community need, secondly to evaluate the potential of current food production and distribution system to meet the food needs of its population, and thirdly; to promote a more resilient food economy that is embedded in localisation and can demonstrably contribute towards improved social well being, strengthened economy and a reduced
environmental footprint. 

We have uploaded the toolkit and all of the resources to our Food Economy Toolkit page, so all the tools you need to complete your own LFE project are available (free of charge).

 

 

Blueskin & Karitane
Community Engagement

Research & Analysis
Completed 2015

 

RhysMillar@ahika.co.nz
0273 877 866

Niki.Bould@ahika.co.nz
03 477 9242

 

Asking local residents about food and food growing is a good way for us to learn more, here at Ahika we value listening to our community.

A large part of this collaborative project focused on understanding residents' perspectives on the current local food system.  We looked at the formal and informal economies, which meant us recognising the diverse set of economic activities that exist within and between the settlements in our project area.  For us, we refer to the formal economy as it relates to food, which encompasses the commercial food production, consumption and distribution systems that are dominant in society today.  It includes commercial farming operations, wholesale food suppliers, processors and retailers such as supermarkets.  Food within the informal economy is not covered or is incompletely covered by official statistics and conventional national accounting systems.  Food within the informal economy includes, for example, back yard or lifestyle block production, bartering, trading and small-scale sale of food items.  It was this informal food economy that required community engagement to understand more about what is happening behind the scenes.  We explored the level of food production that occurs at a back yard and small property scale, this quantitative research provided us with interesting insights into
how much food is grown within the urban settlements and surrounding rural residential areas, how much home grown food contributes to the average household’s food basket, what happens with surplus home grown food and whether residents would like to have access to more local food.

To learn more about the project see the Food & Farms stories page or email us for a copy of the final report.

 
 
carbon.jpg

Voluntary Carbon Scheme
Community Engagement

Research & Analysis
Completed 2012

 

RhysMillar@ahika.co.nz
0273 877 866

 

Engaging with our community in a variety of different ways is a good way to gain information, in this project we at Ahika interviewed Dunedin residents about carbon.

Our objectives for this project was to interview as many people as we could to determine the level of regional demand for a carbon scheme, to understand the needs and values of potential participants and to identify the best solution to meet key criteria for a carbon scheme within our region.  This information fed into a feasibility study.

To learn more about the feasibility study see the Business & Climate stories page.

Hereweka Community Engagement

Design, Planning & Strategy
Completed 2011

 

RhysMillar@ahika.co.nz
0273 877 866

 

Listening to our local community is key for Ahika in terms of creating management plans, we listen especially carefully when it involves such a culturally rich landscape as Hereweka.

The ecological, recreation, cultural and heritage values of Hereweka (also known as Harbour Cone) are important to Dunedin people, especially those living within close proximity.  For the Dunedin City Council (DCC) writing a management plan for Hereweka that captured those values was a priority.  We assisted the DCC by ensuring interested members of the public had a say and their participation was clearly captured and utilized.  Ahika collaborated with Jackie Fanning (L&R New Zealand Ltd), Kelvin Lloyd (Wildland Consultants Ltd) and Mike Moore (Landscape Architect) in engaging community participation through community symposiums and group planning workshops.  The outcome is a management plan that represents the important values held by the local community.  The plan includes the enhancement of existing indigenous vegetation and habitat restoration, management of rare and threatened species, weed and pest animal control, the protection and enhancement of archaeological sites and structures and cultural values for Kai Tahu, visitor and commercial use, including recreation use, signage and interpretation.

To learn more about the Management Planning see the Natural Environment stories page.