Day after the super city election-a huge global working bee

It is hard to imagine getting up for a huge working bee the day after the election on 9 October. Hopefully I will have a big hangover from celebrating the election of Mayor Len Brown, Councillor Mike Lee and the whole City Vision team.  But global action has to happen on climate change with communities not waiting for elected representatives to take the lead in looking for solutions.

That’s why I’m part of the team organising the 350 Big Bike Fix Up for 10/10/10.   We would love to fix up all the thousands of broken bikes in Auckland and get them on the road so that we can look forward to a future that is healthy, sustainable and fun.

It is going to be a huge day!

350 Big Bike Fix-up
Let’s get Auckland’s bikes out of storage, fixed up and on the road ready for a summer of cycling.

Between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 10th October get your bike going at Shed 1, 101 Halsey Street on Auckland’s stunning Viaduct Harbour.

Pro-mechanics, Tumeke Cycle Space (Auckland’s community run bike workshop) and a team of volunteers will be there to fix-up every kind of bike. Once your bike is fixed up, give it a polish at the clean-up station, deck it out (for the kids) and join a leisurely bike ride to Queen’s Wharf.

Unwanted bikes will be fixed up and donated to Refugee Services Auckland. Bring parts to swap too.

In fact doesn’t matter what state your wheels are in – just come down to the Shed to enjoy all day entertainment and a full programme of workshops in bike skills and cycling training.

Vege sausage sizzle and refreshments available at the venue in support of the Grey Lynn School cycle trail project.

Have you got bike fix-up skills to offer? (from basic to pro) please contact Alex at  The Tumeke Cycle Space team are coordinating the fix-up stations at the shed.

Big Bike Fix-Up Workshop programme

Biking from A to B in the city is easy and quick, not to mention fun. But you might have questions, like: what kind of bike should I ride? where should I ride on the road? what if I get a puncture? do I need a basket, pannier bag or backpack? The 350 Big Bike Fix Up day includes a series of workshops to give you some basic information and skills to make your biking comfortable, safe and trouble-free.

And if you can’t make a workshop, volunteers will be there throughout the day to answer your questions, and offer practical advice and help.

Riding tips and skills workshops (*times subject to change on the day)
10am   Getting comfortable on your bike
11am   Puncture! How to change a tyre (and avoid more flats)
12pm   Keep on riding: basic bike maintenance
1pm     Lil’ riders: cycling skills for kids and their parents
2pm     Which bike is the right one for me?
3pm     City slickers: skills and tips for urban riding

Take a city bike for a test ride!
Get a feel for riding a city bike with Nextbikes

Get your bike feeling right
Does your bike give you sore knees or wrists? Or irritate more tender parts?
One-on-one consultations throughout the day with bike-fit expert to make sure you’re comfortable on your bike (from 11am)

Would you like to help with a workshop or share your advice and skills? Please contact Susan Potter if you’d like to help for part or all of the day.

Big Bike Fix-up Bike Rides
Leisurely bike rides for fixed up (and decked out) bicycles departing 11am, 1pm and 3pm from Shed 1 to Queen’s Wharf return via the Viaduct cyclepath

Bike Fix -ups are also happening in Christchurch and Wellington details are here

Make a day of 10/10/10 by bike
Also at Shed 1 Get Growing Auckland – showing Aucklanders how easy and enjoyable urban gardening can be
Devonport – HANDS On sustainable living skills fair
Mt Eden  – Community Garden Working Bee

Across New Zealand and around the globe, on 10/10/10 communities will be taking climate action. From bike fix-ups to community gardens, home insulation to tree planting ….By getting to work we’ll show our leaders the world is ready for climate solutions.  Find out more about the Global Working Bee here

“Soft” conditions signal a hard landing for Vector in the new economy

 There are a number of statements and omissions that stand out from Vector’s recent operations performance summary and the claims made at the Annual meeting on Friday that highlight concerns Vector is not responding to current environmental challenges nor positioned to maximise value from the “new” economy.

 Vector’s traditional business approach has been to focus on increasing electricity and gas volumes and the number of new connections. It is convenient therefore to claim that current “soft” economic conditions are the big challenge ahead for the company while ignoring the impact of climate change, consumer demand for distributed renewable energy (which will lead to more potential customers using less traditional grid power and more home or street produced power traded via a smart grid) and the push to encourage energy efficiencies. These factors are now a constant for Vector to respond to regardless of a warmer than average August or the non-emergence of economic green shoots.

Vector is still silent about energy efficiency opportunities such as solar hot water. Nova Energy meanwhile has gone to market with a pay-on-your-bill in monthly instalments offer to consumers in the Auckland region. Vector, the largest lines company in New Zealand, operates two ripple control systems in both North Shore City and Central Auckland. Ripple control systems turn off householder’s hot water cylinders at peak times to lower or ‘shave’ peak loads. Joining the dots it should be Vector leading the charge in this area. Hot water control has always been a core part of the business but should now be positioned as a clear commitment to energy efficiency as part of the new business.

What the Trust, as the majority shareholder, needs to hear from Vector is how the company intends to actively invest and/or support market solutions that play a role in solutions for climate change for example solar, smart grid solutions, distributed renewable energy. At the moment Vector appears to be feigning a commercial interest to appease the regulator rather than acting through geniune commitment.

 The Trust should also be interested to hear how Vector is growing other areas of the company as well as adequately investing in the core business. The ambition is there to develop a high-speed fibre network but to date the performance of Vector Communications Limited has been disappointing and the subsidiary has failed to leverage off access to an extensive the electricity infrastructure.

 The claims by the Chairman that substantial costs savings have been made from efficiencies in this current financial year are not necessarily grounds for congratulations. Shareholders have enjoyed a healthy dividend this year ($98m) but this needs to be balanced with reassurance that Vector is making necessary capital expenditure to ensure reliable and safe supply. These cost savings have also been achieved by cutting back in the very areas of the business where investment is most needed. For example over the last year Vector has quietly disbanded its team working on renewable energy and restructured the Vector communications business into the commercial team thereby taking away its market prominence.

It is essential that the next operations performance summary provides a much more convincing account of how Vector is not just waiting for cold weather to improve performance but is leading the way in responding to and adding value from emerging  environmental opportunities.