All set for a September to remember

04 August 2020

Photo by Dmitry Sytnik on Unsplash

September is set to see the big issues facing Aotearoa debated and discussed on a series of high-profile stages. Key personalities will contribute to crunch public deliberations in front of engaged, opinionated audiences.

That’s right! It’s World Green Building Week!

This year’s World Green Building Week is taking place at the most important time ever for our building and construction sector. Right now in Aotearoa, we’re facing two hefty challenges. We need an effective economic stimulus. And we also need to slash our climate pollution. These twin tests will not be solved unless healthy, less polluting places for people are put at the heart of the solutions.

Our sector has a key role to play in tackling these era-defining problems. In fact, these problems are not solvable without us. Without people like you and the growing number of green building advocates, New Zealand will not be able to build back better.

And that’s what makes this year’s World Green Building Week so vital.

Starting on the 21 September, we’ll be hosting a series of panel discussions, webinars, and breakfast events, looking at questions including: Can a shovel-ready approach ever truly solve fundamental problems? Are green certification schemes effective at driving change? Can the financial services industry be a catalyst for change?

But World Green Building Week is not ours. It’s yours! World Green Building Week is for all of us, and we’d love you to be a part by putting on your own event. Maybe a cycling tour of your local green buildings, a film screening, a low-carbon breakfast with your friends and workmates, or a presentation about what your organisation is doing to tackle climate change. We’d love to hear your plans, and support them. If you’re planning your own WGBW event, or have any questions, do please drop our events team a line.

At last year’s World Green Building Week, we launched the Zero Carbon Road Map for Aotearoa’s Buildings – the very first comprehensive raft of solutions to tackle climate change pollution from buildings and construction. It drew an immediate Ministerial response and, within a few months, we’ve seen the Government announce plans for a once in a generation green building reform, much of which aligns with our road map. It’s this kind of real impact that WGBW can create, so be sure not to miss out!

Just two days before WGBW, the General Election is taking place. Please don’t forget to make sure you have your say, and vote.

Last week, we heard some welcome news as the Government is set to pump $500million into ageing state houses to be retrofitted to be warm, dry and healthy places for New Zealanders. Kāinga Ora have already committed to building all new state homes to Homestar standards, and rolling this out to ensure retrofits meet Homestar standards is a good step, but there’s still much to be done.

The enthusiasm of the people working on these Homestar projects is really something. I was in Kirikiriroa a few days ago and met many people who worked on Homestar homes in Rimu Street. It was great to present them with their Homestar certificate, and to hear about their Homestar experience.

And while in Kirikiriroa it was great too to be at our first face to face event in ages! The room was packed for Green Speak Waikato.

It’s clear there is momentum and enthusiasm for the green building movement, driven by people like you and me. I can see and feel it in meetings, and in the way our sector is positioned to solve the big problems facing New Zealand. And I can also see it in the number of organisations who are joining as new members, and those renewing their membership. We’re currently experiencing one of our must successful ever periods for membership. If you’d like to join or renew, then do drop Susan a line.

As always, do please get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.

Hei konā mai