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Zero Carbon Residential Heating for Rereahu

Zero Carbon Residential Heating for Rereahu

Te Kakara o te Waonui Collective are seeking support from all political parties, and from private funders, for financial backing to fund a scheme to directly address the heating of Rereahu houses with zero carbon based sources of energy.


Rereahu is a tribe from the cold hinterlands of the Rohe Potae and is the home of the great Pureora forests under which our ancestors lived for a thousand years or more. Wood for heating by way of fallen trees was always in abundance and made it possible for our people to live relatively comfortably with wood fires burning 24/7 keeping our whare warm and dry throughout the harsh seasons within our subalpine climate, where overnight temperatures often drop below zero and even to -10+C during winter months.

Much of the forests were destroyed by early Government licensed logging of the 1900s and final nail was NZ Forest Products (NZFP) who under Government licensing, and lease of land the Government deemed at the time to be its own, dropped large sections of our Pureora forests.

NZFP being one of several large employers in our area, the Benneydale Coal-mine being another. In fact the entire post-colonial history of Rereahu has been large government and other corporations utilising Rereahu people as a cheap hard working labour force, and has left us an economically destitute tribe of ex-forestry workers and ex-coal miners who would now have to pay large sums of money to keep our houses warm and dry or go deeper and deeper up into the alpine mountains to find the scarce fallen trees to chop up for firewood.

Zero Carbon Residential Heating for Rereahu

The revolutionary carbon neutral project we are proposing is to produce *Hauwai – green gas and supply this to houses in Rereahu/Ihingarangi/Pou-a-kani by way of a gas network, powered by a small wind farm.

The proposed final project would be a hauwai producing plant powered by a small grid tied wind farm, that not only stores the clean energy in compressed state, but also pipes it via a gas pipe network to green gas heaters in every house in Rereahu – Ihingarangi out to Te Pou-a-kani.

The projects principle is to provide cheap and 100% carbon free, clean heating to Rereahu, but as a secondary it would also be possible to cook with this gas and also to heat water much in the same way LPG and natural gas does now thus replacing the tonnes of firewood needed every year to heat Rereahu houses.

Te Kakara o Te Waonui state that warm housing was a right within the rohe o Rereahu and surrounding, under tikanga, and that whanau of Rereahu are now forced, and should not have to, make life and death decisions around paying high heating bills when only 50 years ago this was never a consideration pre-mass logging of our Rereahu, Ihingarangi, Pou-a-kani forests.

Te Kakara o Te Waonui say that house insulation is a good first step but is not enough to make it possible for Rereahu people to once again enjoy our lifestyle which we have enjoyed for æons.

The whanau of this rohe should not be forced to move to warmer climates, or move our old people to warmer climates, or send our children to grow up in warmer climates, in order to survive the harsh conditions that we have always been able to exist in. This is our rohe, we are from this land and this land is us.

We have nowhere else that we can or will call our home.


Te Kakara o Te Waonui on behalf of the peoples of the Rereahu and Ihingarangi tribes, and all living in the rohe of Rereahu, Ihingarangi out to Te Pou-a-kani request support from all political parties that are serious about raising our children out of poverty.

The cost to maintain the heating our whare throughout any given year, to the levels needed for comfortable living, is unbearable on the parents of our whanau, and upon those of us that take care of our kaumatua and kuia in our homes.

Te Kakara o Te Waonui call then upon all parties to support a feasibility study into our proposed carbon-zero heating plan, and then assist in acquiring finances needed to bring this into fruition to return our whare back to pre-deforestation warmth levels.

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