Nelson Lebo wants to mobilise Whanganui people to make their community resilient to climate change.

He's started Community Resilience Whanganui (CReW), and said it would be about taking action, not about going to meetings. Instead people will communicate electronically.

Mr Lebo says hard times are just around the corner, if not from climate change then from more economic crises.

"If we stop burning carbon tomorrow we are still in for 30 to 50 years of extreme weather events.


"The soils on my property are already as saturated as they were last year on June 19, and you know what happened on June 20."

He wants to find a group of people more interested in building resilience to climate change than in protesting about it.

He set up a Facebook page for CReW 10 days ago, and has two people lined up to start a first project - a curtain bank supplying free curtains to keep houses warmer.

It's a small start, but could grow into a curtain bank in an empty shop, volunteers hanging curtains or people learning to make window blankets - which he says are warmer than curtains.

People at the River Exchange and Barter System (REBs) stall at the River Traders' Market have agreed to accept donated curtains for the project, starting on June 11.

Another project could be a questionnaire for Whanganui District Council candidates, gauging their commitment to resilience, with the results publicised.

Or there could be a campaign to stop Castlecliff Beach being cleared by bulldozers before the swimming season, or moves to create wetlands to slow the water that creates floods in the Whanganui River, he said.

"Anzac Pde people may be feeling nervous. They could come up to our place and plant some flax to re-establish a wetland. A wetland is a buffer to slow down the pulses of water."

Mr Lebo used to dislike Facebook. But he's realised it's a valuable tool for people with busy lives. He's also envisaging a Google group for CReW members.

He said a group that communicated electronically and was focused on action rather than meetings could suit younger people.

"I have observed that when there's a sustainability event in Whanganui the average age is about 65. Often Dani [Lebo] and I are the youngest people by far."

He thinks younger people are interested in helping, but going to meetings is a barrier. CReW will be just right for them.

"It's about being physically active, doing things. No meetings, only action."

-Interested people can email Mr Lebo on