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Rowan: Launch of the Clean Technology Centre

Jenny Rowan
Speech - Official Launch of the Clean Technology Centre
Thursday November 18
11am – 12.30pm
Venue: 13 Miro Street Otaki

Kia Ora Koutou – welcome and warm greetings to you all
• The Honourable Wayne Mapp
• The Honourable Phil Goff
• MPs Nathan Guy, Darren Hughes, Charles Chauvel & David Shearer
• My fellow Mayors: Celia Wade Brown & Nick Leggett
• Business Leaders
• Science Leaders
• Nigel Kirkpatrick and his team from Grow Wellington
• Stuart Pritchard
• Tanga Whenua
• Ladies & Gentlemen

It is very exciting and a great privilege to host you in our District today for the official launch of the CleanTechnology Centre.

This is an important day for Otaki, for our District, and for the Region.

I want to acknowledge all of you. Who have brought vision, wisdom and skills to the table, to make this possible.

The opportunity for us to work together collaboratively and in a sustainable way using smart science and technology is a dream that I’m sure we all share today.

Nigel has provided a very useful background to this project. The impetus for it, the major players, and the potential benefits for us all.

We are especially grateful to him, to Steven Finlay and the team at Grow Wellington for their support and commitment.

This morning, I want to talk about our Kapiti perspective on the project. And outline why I believe it is important for us.

The Kapiti Coast District Council is recognised nationally for its work in encouraging conservation, bio-diversity, sustainability, and community involvement in environmental issues.
We have worked very hard in this space for the past 6 to 8 years.
This very important project, is just one of a number our Council has been pursuing.
In fact, the whole of our Long Term Council Community Plan is focused on four central principles of environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability.
This project sits alongside a host of other sustainability initiatives the Council has undertaken. Three I’d like to mention are:
• the adoption of Plan Change 75 which makes it compulsory for new houses to either have a 10,000, litre rainwater tank or a 4,500 litre water tank and a grey water system, and;

• our ground-breaking Sustainable Home & Garden Show which over the past five years has provided a high profile stage for a range of sustainable smart technology solutions that benefit business, homes and the environment;

• the innovation funds we have established for water, waste and energy.

In the big picture, the development, manufacture and use of clean technology presents a very positive and viable way forward for our District, our Region, and the clean, green brand of our country.
There are numerous good reasons for our enthusiasm for this project. They include:
• the availability of a great commercial site that can develop in a town that is very keen to be actively involved;
• support from a Council that has strong aspirations to be a leader in the sustainable development space;
• a strong Maori business sector that boasts more than 500 Maori businesses from Foxton to Paekakariki, many of whom have shown themselves to be forward thinking in adopting and demonstrating sustainable technologies;
• an agricultural and rural hinterland with farmers and horticulturalists keen to support and demonstrate smart agricultural practices;
• a growing hub of companies operating here who are strong players in this field.
I acknowledge the vision of the Otaki Community Board and the role it plans to take in encouraging the trial and the up-take of new technology.

Some of you will know Otaki has put itself ‘out there’ aspiring to be the first New Zealand ‘off-grid’ town, and a net supplier to the national energy grid.

Having a town – prepared to offer itself as a trial ground for smart, sustainable, small-scale technology - is most definitely a key feature of this project.

I particularly want to acknowledge the role two of our senior Council staff have had in identifying sustainable domestic technology and clean technology, as areas for potential growth and development.
Dr Gael Ferguson and Tamsin Evans have demonstrated both vision and persistence in putting this project on the agenda for all of us.
These two women have been central to the project, both in the thinking that’s gone on behind the scenes, and in the networks and alliances they’ve fostered and encouraged.

• They enabled the Community Board to see a ‘big picture’ for the development of Otaki as a community prepared to be a ‘creative laboratory’ for the trial of energy efficient systems for housing, commerce, and industry.

• They introduced SpectioNZ Technologies – a key player in the new venture – to Stuart Pritchard of Pritchard Enterprises encouraging him to house the new centre. Thank you - Stuart for coming on board in such a positive and energetic way.
• And over the past six years, they have also put the whole concept of sustainable domestic technology in front of both the Council and Grow Wellington in a determined and persuasive manner.
I want to thank SpectioNZ for its enthusiastic participation in the project. Internationally, there are a number of large-scale waste-to-energy technology operations, but what makes SpectioNZ relevant and exciting for Kapiti, is their ability to apply the technology at a smaller scale, to suit our size and conditions.
We are delighted to be the place where this technology – with its global potential – is being developed.

As a Council we are very keen to work collaboratively with research and funding agencies, such as the Ministry for Research, Science and Technology.
Moving ahead. One of Council’s key economic development objectives is its continued partnership with Grow Wellington - to develop this very important Centre of Excellence for Clean Technology.

Our community’s two biggest economic development investments are with Nature Coast, our economic development agency, and Grow Wellington.

So obviously we are delighted to be engaged in this project, and very happy to see ratepayer dollars invested in a sector that has the potential to bring significant benefit to the District and the wider region.

To be here today - at the launch of New Zealand’s first Clean Technology Centre - is a milestone and an achievement for our District and for the region.
• I thank you all for the many and various contributions you have made.
• I thank you for making this inspirational project possible, and I wish us all every success in building this unique new enterprise together.
Tena koutou katoa

ENDS

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