One Hundred Items Brought to Repair Café

Fantastic Celebration of World Repair Day 2022

The people of Selwyn brought no fewer than 100 household items to be repaired at the Repair Café held at Te Ara Atea on Saturday 15th October 2022. Nearly all of these were restored to their former usefulness free of charge; where this could not be done advice was offered on the necessary course of action.

We are indebted to the volunteer repairers who gave up this weekend day. Six people repairing electrical appliances, two people and their machines sewing, one person offering general repairs to anything, one repairing jewellery and one bicycle repairer were kept busy throughout the event, and many ended up doing overtime. Very grateful thanks to our repairers for their mahi.

The number of people who offered their thanks and requested more of such events, along with those who asked to be on the repairing teams in future were testimony to the day’s success and hopefully to a growing awareness that simply throwing household items away is to our environment’s detriment.

Electrical Appliances always require a lot of work partly because they are some of the main items brought in, but also because most of them require lengthy repair time. One old sewing machine was being worked on for the best part of the day. We had six people working on these and it was a continuous operation. So, thanks to Alan and Ben from Ecotech Services, Rudy from Molten Media Trust, and volunteers Lindsay, Mike, and Jack who worked tirelessly on these.

General Repairs – we are always lucky to have Lee taking care of these and ensuring that such things as umbrellas, toys, and a few electrical items were restored to their former glory.

Bicycles again Esteban from Fix Ur Ride was on hand with his trailer repairing bikes and offering tuition to the younger owners on how to do some of their own repairs.

Clothing. There is always a steady stream of people needing items of clothing repaired so Heather and Cheryn and their machines were kept steadily busy throughout the event.

Jewellery – last year several people requested that we add this, and we were lucky enough to have Sally from Warrens Agencies on hand to help a good number retain their precious items. We will certainly retain this feature in the future.

With large numbers of people and items for repair flooding into the room, we relied on great work from our volunteers for making sure repairs were registered, items ticketed, and directed to the correct station. 

Clothes Swap

This popular event takes place every year in November at the Lincoln Event Centre.  Last year it was hugely successful with the biggest display of clothes, shoes and accessories to date. There is no payment for entry or clothes.

The event provides a chance to enjoy changing one’s wardrobe, as well as keeping resources circulating. Some derive great benefit in being able to provide some additional family clothes.

Textiles are a major contributing element to landfill and the longer that we are able to keep them in circulation the better. It is a means of helping reduce the negative impacts of the fashion industry on our environment.

How it works. People are encouraged to bring their clothing items (those that we all have, unused in our cupboards) and drop them off at designated drop-off points in Selwyn. Those who do these early drop-offs are given an “Early Bird” ticket which entitles them and one other, to early entry on the evening.

This is probably the event that absorbs more volunteer time than any other. The process is akin to getting in stock, and then setting up a huge clothing store for only a few hours and then disbanding it. The amount of superb volunteer help that is received for many weeks before and then on the evening has maintained this as one of our best and biggest happenings.  Our very grateful thanks go to everyone involved for their efficiency and hard work.

Liffey Springs Water Testing and Clean Up

During Keep New Zealand Beautiful Clean Up Week in September we headed along to the Liffey River for a variety of activities.

We joined the many groups and organisations around New Zealand who during this one week in September hold events to remind us that New Zealand must be kept beautiful by us all.

The event, as usual, was organised with three school levels (Pre-school, Primary School, and High School) and each group had its own set of activities all aimed at maintaining an awareness of keeping our environment as pristine as possible.

The pre-school set about picking up as much rubbish as could be found. Gloves and bags were provided by the Keep New Zealand Beautiful organisers and the rubbish collected was carefully sorted. Many items were in fact recyclable or able to be upcycled and did not have to add to any landfill.

A small group from the primary school were shown by Waterwatch how to collect water from the stream and look for tiny creatures that live in the water and how they can be an indicator of water quality. The High School arrived later and did more elaborate testing on the river water finding, as is too usual these days, a high level of nitrates. Click to see the full results.

Whilst all the activities were pursued with enthusiasm and interest, it is fair to say that the most interest and enthusiasm were reserved for the sausages that Lincoln New World traditionally provide and cook for us. These were very much enjoyed after everyone had endeavoured, in their own small way, to keep a part of New Zealand beautiful.

Peak Meat

A Game Changer for Food Production, The Environment & Health

At the conclusion of the discussion, guests were given the opportunity to ask questions to the panellists and this is the part of the evening that you can listen to here.

This is an issue of worldwide importance. Intensive production of meat and milk is a major source of greenhouse gases, water pollution and soil degradation. Many people are turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet. However, food production is vital to New Zealand’s economy and to ensuring the world has enough to eat.

The discussion covered the following topics:

  • How will changes in demand, modern technology and an awareness of ethical, environmental and health issues affect our agricultural production? What are the impacts of meat and milk production?
  • People are eating less meat and dairy – why and what are the consequences on our environment, health, farmers, animal welfare and economy?
  • Is artificial meat going to take off?
  • Should we be planning for this?


Nick Pyke | Director | AgInnovate

Ronan Phelan | Vegan and Environmentalist

Jocelyn Eason | Food Innovation | Plant and Food Research

Kevin Marshall | Chairman | Riddet Institute

Lincoln Envirotown Sponsors

A big thank you to our wonderful sponsors! We extend our sincere appreciation to all our sponsors, Rata Foundation, Selwyn District Council, COGS, Lottery Community and Lincoln University.

Record Entry into Selwyn Environmental Film Competition

Record Entry into Selwyn Environmental Film Competition

Nineteen films were submitted for this year’s Environmental Film Competition run by Lincoln Envirotown Trust. This marked a substantial increase over previous years and it is to be hoped that it is indicative of people’s concerns about our environment, a willingness to articulate these, and to suggest actions.

A particularly pleasing feature of entries this year was that there were no less than 5 independent entries by adult producers alongside the assorted school age group and individual entries. As the Acting Mayor of Selwyn Councillor John Morten pointed out at the Awards Evening, the number of varied entries greatly enhanced the contest but left the judges with a very difficult task indeed.

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