Bring on the energy revolution


Andrew Clark, solar energy expert and founder of local cleantech company Sunrayker Ltd, recently gave TTO (Transition Town Otaki) an over-view of solar energy technology, the advantages and drawbacks of the different technologies available, and how it might work in Otaki.

Sunrayker at Otaki College
Sunrayker at Otaki College

As part of a project supported by WWF (the World Wildlife Fund) Andrew recently developed for Otaki College three Sunrayker machines, solar/thermal energy prototypes, with which students can learn to track, store and harness the sun’s energy.

Phil Malpas outlined the objectives and structure of the recently-formed Otaki Energy Co-op, which aims to provide solar energy technology to businesses and private houses. The Co-op is seeking members and partners. For more information, contact Phil, 021 420 106, or email

TTO ‘must-do’ Action List

The group has been developing this for a few weeks now, consulting members and working out what we need to get stuck into. In addition to starting a drop-in morning our top five are:

    • Better links with the many other groups active in Otaki. How can we complement each other and work together?
    • Relaunching the TTO community mulcher club. About three years back TTO applied for a council grant and was able to buy a mulcher for community use. This has been only moderately successful because most people need to hire a trailer before they can pick up the mulcher. This has been a sticking point and added cost. We’re now trying to to get a trailer organised to make hiring the mulcher more affordable. More news on this soon.
    • Support for Otaki College Garden, which needs volunteers.
    • Action on climate change, such as organising a public tree-planting event.

Starting an Otaki Curtain Bank.

Like most groups, we have trouble finding enough people to “walk the talk”. If you’d be willing and able to help or to get any of these projects up and running, send an email to: Belinda McLean,, or ring Belinda at 06 364 5573.

TTO AGM, finger food and ‘Hot Air’

TTO’s AGM is on July 27, 6pm, a light potluck meal with finger food at “The Tele”, Main Street. TTO, followed by a showing of NZ documentary maker Alister Barry’s film on climate change, Hot Air. For further information contact Belinda (details above).