Gifts to future generations

Changes your great-grandkids will thank you for

Have you heard the term kaitiakitanga? It’s a beautiful Māori concept meaning guardianship and stewardship, and linked to old Māori tikanga (practises) that many iwi are working to recapture in their everyday lives – especially in the hearts of communities gathered around marae.

While a Māori concept, many say kaitiakitanga perfectly encapsulates the way we should all be living on our planet – making use of resources while caretaking them for future generations. Central to the principle of kaitiakitanga is the acceptance that the actions we take now will have effects that extend hundreds of years into the future.

So how can we safeguard that future, start making decisions for the long term, and contribute to a better world for our great-grandkids (and great-great-grand kids!)?

Simple changes now could pay dividends – and you probably won’t notice much difference to your lifestyle!

Back companies who take a long-term view

 Most companies are out there chasing quick profits – but some are operating by the principle of kaitiakitanga. That means making decisions for the long term that may reduce profits at first, because it’s simply the right thing to do.

solarcity is one of those companies. Not just content with offering a way to shift NZ’s energy system towards clean, smart, renewable sources, it’s also contributing to initiatives that will amplify their impact.

For example, the company has partnered with Marae DIY, a TV series on Māori TV. Each weekly episode features one marae undergoing a DIY transformation – not just an update of the buildings themselves, these changes are about returning the iwi (tribe) to the kaitiakitanga practises of their ancestors. As part of the transformation, most of the marae involved in the new series also have solarZero systems installed, with the solarcity team on hand to educate and inspire the communities about the benefits of solar energy.

This partnership is part of solarcity’s wider ‘Marae Community Project’, an initiative that aims to give small Māori communities access to solar energy.

Make sure you tune in! The new series screens on Maori TV, Thursdays at 8.30pm. Or you can watch episodes on demand here

 Make your home lower-impact

Our homes stick around for far longer than we will, so investing in making your home low-impact will support our environment now and into the future – and will mean your home is contributing to kaitiakitanga too. The good news is that those improvements can also save money and increase your comfort right now. Simple steps include starting a compost heap or worm farm, and swapping to energy-efficient light bulbs. It’s also a great idea to install double glazing, properly insulate your home, and invest in a grey water tank – which lets you flush your toilet and water your garden with water from your sinks.

An easy win is to join solarcity’s Grid for Good, with solarZero. Sign up to solarZero, and you’ll have solar panels installed for free – solarcity also takes care of upgrades and maintenance.

There are no up-front costs – instead, you pay a fixed monthly fee, starting from as little as $85+GST a month. It’s so low that solarcity guarantees you’ll save money on your power bills from that first year. Along with your solar panels you’ll also have a smart battery to store the electricity generated from the sun, and you can buy energy from the grid at a low capped price – you won’t pay any more than 8c+GST/KWh.  When there’s a grid power outage, you’ll be able to access the battery to provide electricity to your home – even if everyone else in the street is in the dark!

Support policies that consider the future

Ancient philosopher Confucius said, “If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.”
Ideas and plans that will leave a better world for our grandkids – that is, kaitiakitanga – might mean a bit of investment in the short term, but those future generations will look back and thank us for it! Look out for policies that promote the wellbeing of people (especially children!), support healthy food production, protect the natural environment and reward businesses and communities for living more sustainably.

Make small changes every day

While climate issues and the environment are problems that need to be solved by people, government and business working together, there are things you can do to minimise your impact and evoke kaitiakitanga. Choosing to eat less meat and dairy, taking trains and buses instead of flying, switching to an electric car, and just generally buying fewer things can add up to a lot. Harkening back to your childhood, where everything was repaired and reused (and where plastic wrap and bags were few and far between!) will help too – we all did without plastic straws back then! Those choices also come with lots of other benefits too – you’ll find you’re healthier, and are spending less money along with protecting the environment.

Talk – and learn – about climate change

 If you talk to any school aged child, they’ll be able to tell you about climate change – what causes it, and what it might mean for their future. It’s part of why hundreds of thousands of children took to the streets to call for action from policy makers. While getting out and marching alongside them is a great example of kaitiakitanga in action, the most important thing you can do is listen, learn and talk about climate change – bring to the fore in your mind and let it help guide your decisions.


Kaitiakitanga – for a better future

Make kaitiakitanga the guiding principle of your life, and be the guardian your great-grandchildren will be proud to follow. Support companies like solarcity that take a long-term view, putting the welfare of people and the planet before profits. Make sustainable changes to your home and lifestyle, and swap your gas-guzzler for a clean electric car. Sign up for solarZero’s offer so you can harness the sun’s clean energy and reduce your reliance on the grid as much as possible, and encourage policies that will make a better world for your great-grandchildren – and their great-grandchildren!

About solarcity

Since 1981, solarcity has built its business around the principle of kaitiakitanga. Certified carbon-Zero since 2010, solarcity is one of the top, fastest-growing green companies in NZ. They’ve installed more solar panels than anyone else, which is why they’re New Zealand’s most trusted solar energy provider.

Think solarZero might be right for your home? Click here to see if you qualify to join the Grid for Good to generate power from your roof.