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Transition Towns


Blueskin Energy Project


The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trusts aim is to create a healthy, secure and resilient future for Blueskin Bay and linked communities and promote sustainable resource use.

Assisting groups and individuals in Blueskin Bay communities address the opportunities and vulnerabilities associated with Climate Change and Peak Oil.



Jeanette was born in Dunedin and grew up in Mosgiel but exiled to the north island from early teenage years. She was co-leader of the Green party from 1995 to 2009. Her interest in energy began when she returned to NZ from 6 years in Europe in 1974 to find the country trying to decide where to put the first nuclear power station. Jeanette’s current passion and work is in addressing the challenges and opportunities of climate change and peak oil. She lives in off the grid house and has put into practice the principle that first you reduce your demand, then you use appropriate energy for end use (eg not electricity for heating or cooking) then you use renewables that complement each other - the Fitzsimons’ have PV alone in summer, PV plus microhydro in winter when there is enough water in the stream and insufficient sun. About the BRCT, Jeanette says: “For years as I’ve worked at the national level on sustainable energy I’ve admired the practical work going on at Blueskin Bay. This is an excellent example of a community building resilience into their energy use, reducing their demand to a minimum with energy efficiency, and exploring a range of renewable options for generating their power. I look forward to our work together.”



Ross is the Director of Film Making at the University of Otago’s Centre for Science Communication. He has been involved in the television industry as a producer and director for over thirty years and is a resident of Purakaunui. Ross has been involved in School Committees, School Boards, the School Jubilee Organising Committee, the Purakaunui Environment Group, The Mopanui Ecological and Environmental Society and ‘Get the Train’. He moved to Purakaunui in the early 70’s - initially renting a crib, before falling in love with the place, buying a section, building a house and helping to raise three children. Ross’ established links with the wider Blueskin community drives his interest in the BRCT flagship ‘Blueskin Energy Project’ with its potential to sustain Blueskin Bay’s social and economic base.


Jenny is a Lecturer in the Higher Education Development Centre at the University of Otago and has particular research interests in natural language processing techniques for educational applications. Jenny has had a varied career having trained initially as a medical doctor, then worked in video production, asset mapping and educational computing. Outside of work, Jenny is an alternative energy enthusiast and lives off the grid on a lifestyle block where she attempts to farm a small herd of goats, two cows and chooks together with a dog and an acerbic and occasionally demonic cat.


Anna is our newest Trustee since our March 2014 meeting.  Anna was formerly a teacher and lecturer and Associate Principal at Dunedin College of Education from which she retired in 2007.  Born and raised in Northland, she lived and worked in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin before discovering Blueskin Bay.  Since 1980 where she has been able to practice very part time small farming and gardening in Warrington. As grandmother of three she is interested in sustainability for society in general and of the land in particular.  She is involved in local biodynamic farming and gardening groups and in a Dunedin natural health care company manufacturing organic remedies from medicinal plants.  Anna is a founder of the Warrington Community Garden, a volunteer at the Orokonui Sanctuary and a member of the Waitati Warblers.


Craig is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago.  He has a particular interest in how people adapt to their environment and how communities make decisions and resolve problems.  His work focuses on cold-adaptation in plants and animals and the way organisms interact with the environments in which they live.  Most of the world's organisms tolerate freeze-thaw cycles—some freeze, others super cool; all have strategies to cope with sub-zero temperature.  Outside of work Craig volunteers for a number of organisations including editing the Blueskin News and our very own Cuppa Tea blog.


Charles is an investment advisor with Craigs Investment Partners.
He has an interest in assisting his clients  in making socially responsible investments. After attending Otago university, Charles spent some years working in Wellington and other North Island places before finding his way back to Otago.Married to Monica, outside of working hours Charles time is divided between learning about bee keeping and seeing what can be achieved with a windswept five acre lifestyle block. Charles is also a Station Officer with the Waitati Fire Brigade and part of the co-responders medical emergency team. He has also represented New Zealand in Powerlifting and held various weightlifting records.