A local festival with more than a decade of history is going regional this year, giving more Aucklanders the opportunity to learn new skills and connect with their community by sharing practical ideas to make sustainable living easier.
Four Auckland eco hubs have come together to host EcoFest 2023, a month-long celebration of the unique environment of Tāmaki Makaurau and how we care for it.
Starting on Saturday 18 March, the EcoFest programme will be packed with events, activities, installations and workshops for people of all ages and at any stage of their sustainability journey. From composting workshops to silent disco clean-ups, EcoFest’s aim is to make sustainability fun and accessible; inspiring people to make simple changes to reduce their impact on the environment.
Started in 2012 as EcoFest West by EcoMatters Environment Trust, the annual festival quickly became a popular way to experience hands-on environmental action, connect with neighbours and learn new skills in West Auckland.
“EcoFest has always been a grassroots festival, offering local change-makers a chance to share their skills and ideas, championing our local environment, supporting collaboration and celebrating the importance of community,” says Carla Gee, CEO of EcoMatters Environment Trust.
Seeing the success out west, North Shore eco hub Kaipātiki Project expanded the festival in 2013 to bring EcoFest North to Auckland’s North.
“It’s been a long-held dream of ours to see EcoFest continue to grow and expand. Now more than ever there’s urgency to bring together and support all of the environmental efforts across our communities, while having fun, meeting new people, exploring new places and learning new skills,” says Janet Cole, Manager of Kaipātiki Project.
This year will be the first time the event is held Auckland-wide. The rapid growth of the festival comes after two more community-based eco hubs joined the party; the Beautification Trust in South Auckland and Waiheke Resources Trust on Waiheke Island.
“We’re all working with the same sustainability kaupapa in our communities, so coming together for EcoFest is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to connect, learn from each other and amplify our impact across Tāmaki Makaurau,” says Daniel Barthow, CEO of the Beautification Trust.
“EcoFest is shaping up to be one of the biggest festivals in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Waiheke Resources Trust General Manager, Michael Maahs. “We’re excited to grow the festival in Tāmaki Makaurau to connect and activate people’s sustainability journeys. It’s such a great opportunity to learn from all our neighbouring communities and share our wealth of skills, strength, ideas, caring and ingenuity, all to catalyse change and growth.”
With over 90 years of environmental action combined, the four hubs have a wealth of knowledge to share on all things sustainability.
“The way our four eco hubs have come together reflects the very best of what EcoFest itself has always done in, for and with our community,” says Gee.
“The need for us all to step up to combat the climate crisis is increasing. As leaders in this space, the eco hubs behind EcoFest want to provide more opportunities for Aucklanders both to make simple changes in their own lives and contribute to a bigger conversation about what’s needed to address the climate crisis.”