Conference 2017

Save the Date:  25-28 August 2017, Nelson.


ECO Annual Conference 2017

at Stoke Memorial Hall, 548 Main Road, Stoke, Saturday and Sunday.

Field Trips Friday afternoon (25th) and Monday all day (28th)

 Our Annual General Meeting for ECO Member groups will be held on the morning of Sunday 27th August

Protecting democracy and the environment are intimately linked.  Both involve responsibilities to the future and to the present.  What happens when the focus shifts from rights to responsibilities?  Do we need a constitution for New Zealand and if we were to have one, what should it contain?  How do we restore democracy to resource management decision making and respect the Treaty of Waitangi and the relationships involved at the same time instead of sacrificing one for the other?


What should we ask of our selves and our politicians for today and for the future?  Where do the political parties stand on climate change, biodiversity, and water quality?


ECO’s  annual conference in Nelson this year  will explore these issues with some fantastic speakers.  We will explore the biophysical and political and other limits as we explore which pathways to take and the actions needed to get success in protecting water, biodiversity and the climate for now and the future.


Young and old will contribute to the discussion.


Keynote speakers include the thoughtful and insightful historian and anthropologist, Dame Anne Salmond, Sir Geoffrey Palmer who devised the Resource Management Act and is now proposing a constitution for New Zealand, Paul Young from Generation Zero on the Zero Carbon Bill, and others.


At this stage, the format of the Conference is the following:
(But it is subject to change, we will keep you updated)


Friday 25 August, afternoon:   Field trips: leaving the Stoke Memorial Hall at 2pm to visit the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary and then to Paremata Flats at Cable Bay where restoration planting is taking place.  Cost of the trips is $10 for the two combined - transport will take you to both locations.  Please indicate if you wish to join these Field Trips on your registration and pay with the registration payment.

Locals will lead this trips and talk to us about what is happening at each location.


Friday evening:  We will suggest at least one place such as a pub where people can congregate and socialise.


Saturday 26 August, Morning, exploring responsibilities to the future and the present and what we need to do to maintain access to decision making and environmental justice. What are the limits, pathways and actions needed to keep democracy in environmental decision making healthy? 


Saturday  afternoon explores these themes in relation to water quality, allocation and the health of aquatic systems and the ways to make progress.  The state and limits, pathways and actions to rescue our biodiversity and to widen recovery will be examined.


Saturday Evening: Given this is election year, what do the political parties see as the goals, funding, actions and pathways to recovery?  Politicians on the environmental spot is an evening session – a democratic process of parties stating where they stand and answering questions.  We are non-partisan but we all know that democracy is important at all levels.


Sunday 27 August explores the climate change limits, pathways and actions but is also when we have our AGM.  It will allow for more discussion on actions, policies, pathways  - and no doubt also on limits.


Monday 28 August: We have a further field trip on Monday to Takaka to see the Pupu Springs and other places of interest in Golden Bay.  We are also looking at adding a further field trip on Monday to see one of New Zealand's most eco homes, Copper Gate at Mapua, and other sites there - details of price etc are coming.

Please note the programme may be subject to change.

ECO regards good company, good coffee and tea,  and delicious food as essential elements of a good conference!    The conference is fully catered - included in the registration fee which we keep very modest.    Food and Special diets: ECO’s caterer will provide vegetarian,  vegan and gluten free food and will try to accommodate other dietary requirements if informed sufficiently in advance.  Make dietary requirements known when you register.



Registration Costs:  ECO aims to keep registration costs as low as we can –we are looking for sponsors and have pricing for those who do not have wages or other sources of income beyond the basics.

Registration costs are as follows:

Registration up to 13 August:

Full conference including lunch and tea breaks and evening meal Saturday night: $95 for members of ECO member groups and ECO Friends.  

$125 for non-members and non-Friends

Full conference fee for students and unwaged (including meals as above): $60

After 13th August:

Full conference including lunch and tea breaks and evening meal Saturday night: $115 for members of ECO member groups and ECO Friends.  

Full conference fee for students and unwaged (including meals as above): $75

Full conference fee after 13th August for non-members and non-ECO Friends: $145

Conference fees have been set for Members of ECO and Friends of ECO, Students and Unwaged, and Non-Members or Friends of ECO. Please select the relevant category below and fill in the total amount. There is a higher rate for late registrations after Sunday 13 August.


Post cheques or correspondence to ECO Inc:
PO Box 11-057
New Zealand

Credit Card payments via ECOs Give a Little Page:


Make sure you answer all questions with an * and then press Submit Form. You will get an email confirmation.

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Travel and accommodation:  People are asked to make their own arrangements for travel and for where they stay.  

Those coming from south of Christchurch: there is a plan to organise cars from Christchurch to carpool to Nelson. So if you are from Christchurch south, you may like to plan to come to Christchurch and then organise to car share from there.  Please email us if you are keen on this option.


Here are details of local accommodation options:

Holiday parks, campground and motorcamp:

Backpackers :
Motel and lodge:
  • Saxton Lodge at at 103 Saxton Road East, Stoke, has a special rate for those attending the Conference: nightly rate for two people is $120 with an extra $20 for each additional person in the room.   Email and mention that you are attending the ECO Conference.   They offer a courtesy vehicle from the airport too - ring them on arrival and they will collect.

Unit available: We have booked a small unit that sleeps 5 people, and is just $64 a night.  This is near the venue.  Let us know asap if you would like this.  It would need to be booked for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

The Turf hotel is located a few meters away from the venue and got three double rooms. Rooms are double but can be used as single. The price is $50/night for a single and $75/per night for a double room. For more information contact them: 03 5477791.


We are hoping to have a number of billets available - please email the ECO Office if you would like a billet, and please state your preferences and for how many nights.  Also please email us if you are able to offer a billet.

If you didn't find any place to stay, a list of other suggestions of accommodations and their range of prices is available here.

How to get to the venue ?

From the airport

  • Walking : this is a 42 minutes walk (3.3km).  Click here to see the map. 

From the Nelson i-Site:

  • Both Bus Route 1 and Route 2 can take you to Stoke Memorial Hall. In each case the direction is Richmond. The journey fare is $3.50.  

The Stoke Memorial Hall is at 548 Main Road Stoke.  A link to details about the venue and a locality map is at this link.

 If you come from Picton. You can take an Intercity bus (More information here) then to go to the venue.

Follow above information "from i-Site". 


Here are more details about local transportation

Local buses:

Find the Nelson Buses Route map here
More informations about fares can be found here



ECO needs volunteers to help with and during the conference.  We will all need to lend a hand but we will also waive the registration fee for those who are willing to miss sessions to work in the kitchen and elsewhere.  Contact Michael Pringle at



Please, note there is NO WIFI AVAILABLE at the Stoke Memorial Hall.