The EcoCentre is a community hub that brings together local groups working towards a more sustainable and resilient Kaitaia. We draw on a strong tradition of kaitiakitanga, or stewardship, which has long defined the Māori relationship with land and sea, and now inspires new generations of residents from all backgrounds.

The EcoCentre is at the centre of a growing network of locals trying to improve their footprint on the earth. The EcoCentre is able to assist through products for sale such as re-usable produce and shopping bags, garden plants and workshops, but also advice and mentoring.

The EcoCentre holds a Gold Ecostar award for waste minimisation, and is a member organisation of ECO Aotearoa New Zealand

History

Run by Te Pokapū Tiaki Taiao o Te Tai Tokerau Trust (Far North Environment Centre) which has been going since 1999, the EcoCentre first opened it’s doors to the public in September 2013. Initially it was more of an office base for FNEC programme workers and a source of environmental information for the general public. In 2015 the emphasis started to shift towards it’s current set up. Kaitaia TimeBank had been using the EcoCentre as an office base and when funding for a FNEC administrator ran out they stepped up to provide volunteers to keep the doors open. Many of the volunteers were in Transition Towns Kaitaia and so their presence became more tangible, and the Far North Organic Growers library has been held here all along. Since then other groups and organisations have got involved and our social media platforms have helped support a wide range of community initiatives such as Te Hiku Maara Kai Community Garden, Pukenui Community Garden, Plastic Free Kaitaia 2020 and Far North Goodness Growers.

Organisation

The Trust meets monthly, and all who are involved with the EcoCentre are welcome to attend business meetings. We rely on volunteers to keep the place running, and to provide many of the products for sale. Through Kaitaia TimeBank they earn timecredits for their efforts which they are able to use for services from other timebankers within the community. If you are interested in getting involved please call in to see us, message us on here or email info@ecocentre.co.nz

Our current trustees are:

Angela Callagher – chair, Pat Davis – secretary, Rebecca Ranum – treasurer, Nancy Gregory, Lesley Hoggard, John Kenderdine, Rueben Porter & Patrick Mason.

Other regular volunteers who keep our doors open to the public are:

Waikarere Gregory, Asta Wistrand, Gary Little & Annie Sarsfield