Helen Kirlew Smith – your urban dream broker

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Please meet Helen Kirlew -Smith. She is your local urban dream broker from the Urban Dream Brokerage. What is an urban dream broker I hear you muttering?

Well if you are anyone with ideas – artists, designers, community groups, social entrepreneurs or fledgling businesses – Helen will explain all and how she can help YOU, to interact with the city in exciting new ways.

Helen will also be telling us why she loves her crazy job and how she has seen first hand the positive changes this concept is having and can have on our city. Don’t be shy now, propose away. She really wants to hear from you.

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Phillipa O’Brien – the gifted girl from Kingston

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Phillipa O’Brien, is a very busy lady right now with two photographic exhibitions about to go up in town. One kicks off this Friday the 27th of June at Photospace Gallery where Phillipa has developed her own intriguing style of pictorial-scripts called Photofables.

The other is a major lifetime experience, photographing the scene of Danny Lemon’s 8500 collectors item records burnt in the storage fire in Wellington earlier this year. In this interview Phillipa talks about how she saw art in this devastation and made an exhibition of it, which is on now on at Poquito Cafe and Bar Wellington.

Phillipa also reveals some interesting stories about Danny Lemon in the South Island high Country,  the positive thing she saw in the community through Danny’s sad loss and the simple reason why she wanted to help him out.

For more information on Danny Lemon’s story you can go here ( and please buy a poster). http://dannylemon.com/

And for more of Phillipa O’ Briens work http://www.philippaobrien.com/
and the exhibition : http://www.photospacegallery.com/2014—philippa-obrien.html

Christina Bellis – the Sustainability Trust, a great team

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Our own Sustainability Trust took out the national Green Ribbon Award for Small Business Leadership, and rightly so, as they have become an integral part of our Welly essence, providing so many ‘can do” services. In this interview Community Projects Manager for the trust, Christina Bellis, talks about how they are all feeling about their win, the massive impact they are having on our city and what makes their team so special.

Sam Hunt – a national treasure

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We get a few special things happen to us in life and one of mine will most certainly be talking with Sam Hunt on the radio for this interview. There were no visuals, we were just connected at either ends of the line and the island with a task to complete. Of course the man has the most charming way with words… but to hear Sam chanting poem after after poem, stories of Kapiti, mystical experiences and jokes down the phone line will certainly go down as a very memorable experience for me.

He truly is gifted, he doesn’t talk poetry, he is poetry.
Hearing Sam is something you want all your fellow Kiwi’s to experience, so inspiring and the sound of his rising and falling raspy tones are carved into my own kiwi DNA.

Jan Wright – commissioner for our environment on what keeps her awake at night

Jan Wright

As New Zealand’s Environment Commissioner, Jan Wright is the authority on what is happening environmentally in our country. In this interview Jan gives us a breakdown on her latest report on the impending “fracking” or Oil and Gas Drilling industry, as well as the bigger environmental issues at hand. Her mission is to then get politicians to act on her recommendations.

Although we didn’t get to discuss this, the summary below, which ends her report introduction is certainly food for thought at this critical time. And if the Commissioner for the Environment is saying it, why aren’t we doing it?

– ‘The Government has committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to five percent below our 1990 emissions by 2020, but there is no plan for achieving this –neither the Energy Strategy nor the greatly weakened Emissions Trading Scheme will do it. Perhaps I have become particularly sensitive, but I seem to be increasingly hearing that it is pointless for our small country to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases because our contribution to the global total is insignificant. But this is a recipe for inaction everywhere.

The Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway – another small country – recently said it better than I can:
“Norway accounts for 0.04 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In isolation, what we do is of little significance. But we cannot think like that. Every Chinese city, every U.S. state, every coal power plant emission is small in the larger whole. We will not get anywhere if we just point at each other.”

During my time as New Zealand’s Environment Commissioner, I have often made recommendations about the need for a strong response on climate change. I will continue to do so.’

Jan Wright-Drilling for oil and gas in New Zealand: Environmental oversight and regulation -June 2014

Lu Davidson – really making a difference with film

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Lu Davidson tells of the determination of the Inspiring Stories Trust in getting around New Zealand schools to encourage and challenge our young people to “Make a Difference” with their film competition. They then go back and show these films to schools creating a self perpetuating system for positive change. Incredible. Lu also talks about her own journey in film and how she is now using these skills to inspire and teach our young people this valuable tool to have a voice as well.

Rose Mensah – fair trade inspiration

Rose Mensah

Rose Mensah, a cocoa bean farmer from Ghana came to Wellington to kick off Fair Trade Fortnight and share her story about how being in a fair trade co-op benefit’s her community.
Hearing her story lead me to ask Wellington fair trade stalwarts, Christian from Trade Aid , Matt and Kate from All Good Bananas and Rochelle from Wellington Chocolate Factory about the effects on their suppliers and their products from committing their businesses to being fair trade.
I also chat to Pravin Sawmy of Fairtrade New Zealand about NZ’s astounding growth in Fair trade products is in just 9 years.