I love to support local initiative in areas that help our community to be more sustainable and to reduce its carbon footprint. Busabout Kaitaia is one such initiative, bringing public transport back to our rural area after twenty years without. Three buses  now serve the people of Ahipara, Doubtless Bay and the Aupouri Peninsula. The buses run on 50% bio diesel made in Busabout’s own refinery from used cooking oil kindly donated by local businesses.

I use the bus whenever I work in the library. The regulars are on a friendly first name basis with each other and with Doug, our Doubtless Bay driver. We, in the Far North are so accustomed to needing to drive everywhere that it takes a while for people to change their mental state and open up to the joys of public transport. Frankly, it’s cheaper than driving your own car and you can chat with your neighbour, read a book, observe the beautiful passing scenery or doze off while the driver does the work. At the same time you’re supporting local employment and reducing your carbon footprint, not to mention reducing the wear and tear on your vehicle. The bus drivers can be flexible about pickup and drop off locations, adding to convenience.

The two times we’ve lived in the Netherlands we’ve not owned a car. We went everywhere on foot, on bicycle or with public transport. It was great. Now the same opportunity exists in our sparsely populated area thanks to the initiative of CBEC and Busabout Kaitaia. Timetables are available at your local information centre or library. For further information call Margaret at CBEC on 4086086. The buses are available for private charter.

Another great local initiative is that of the Tai Tokerau Whole Foods Club bringing raw milk to our area.  This is milk produced the old fashioned way from cows raised using organic principles in Waimate North. The milk is delivered in 2 litre sterilized glass bottles to several drop-off locations. Straight from the cow to the consumer, here’s a way to obtain health-giving unpasteurized raw milk at a price substantially lower than in the supermarket. Why? There’s no middleman. For more information email Geoff Waterhouse on ttwfclub@gmail.com

In today’s challenging economic environment it is encouraging to see people thinking and acting outside the box to build stronger, more sustainable communities.

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