While Environment Network Manawatu (ENM) and its member groups provided a wealth of information on sustainability and in particular environmental sustainability, there was a strong feeling among many that a centrally located environment centre was needed for Palmerston North and the Manawatu, a place where people could come to have their questions about being environmentally sustainable answered, a place where people could be connected to the many businesses and organisations that work in the environmental sustainability space.
In late 2009, ENM began discussions with a variety of stakeholders on the development of an environment centre in Palmerton North, and in early 2010, a task force was formed to drive this initiative. The task force needed to have broad representation from the community, and to this end, representatives from several ENM member groups, Palmerston North City Council, Horizons regional council, Department of Conservation, Rangitaane, the Chamber of Commerce, and Massey University were brought together.
This task force met regularly to progress the development of the centre, now called Sustainable Manawatu (SM). Space at the centrally located Palmerston North I-site was secured for the centre, as was space at the Green Hub, and, with initial funding from the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust, and website sponsorship from Spinning Planet, Sustainable Manawatu began operating in June 2010. We are now resident at Green Hub only; 235 Main street, Palmerston North.
In May 2011, after monthly Taskforce meetings for at least a year, an Inaugural General Meeting was held, and a Trust Board established. Sustainable Manawatu has also been registered with the Charities Commission as a charitable entity. Trustees of the Sustainable Manawatu Trust are, from left:
MG Gopalan (Joint Chair)
Yvonne Marsh (Joint Chair)
Karl Pearce (Secretary)
Bruce Bulloch (Treasurer)
Ee Kheng Ang