Try out weed dating

19:49, Mar 20 2014
Chloe Waretini, left, and Laura O’Connell-Rapira
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS: Chloe Waretini, left, and Laura O’Connell-Rapira are hosting creative events for the EcoWest festival.

Romance will be in the air this weekend over a bout of weeding.

Weed dating is coming to Titirangi tomorrow during the annual month-long EcoWest festival held from March 15 to April 13.

EcoWest is run by Ecomatters Environment Trust with a number of community groups who put on events that encourage environmental action and sustainable living.

Social entrepreneur and EcoWest designer Chloe Waretini is bringing weed dating to Titirangi's Rahui Kahika Reserve to mark the event.

Run by the Waitakere Festival, weed dating will encourage strangers to get to know each other while helping to weed the reserve. They will also complete challenges along the way such as a five minute hug.

"If we can bring some romance to environmental action then why not? We're saying make love and war on weeds," Miss Waretini says.


Another young organiser is Laura O'Connell-Rapira from Laingholm who is running New Zealand's first post-carbon picnic and holding a concert with a one-of-a-kind soundsystem.

She specialises in creating "people powered parties with purpose" such as the post-carbon picnic which will encourage people to "share more and waste less" she says.

"It's a celebration of what our lives will look like without being so dependent on fossil fuels, while also getting to experience the amenities New Lynn has to offer," Ms O'Connell-Rapira says.

"The whole idea is to get a conversation going around how we use transport, food and how we consume material possessions and energy."

Teachings in Dub with Lion Rockers HiFi will raise money for Generation Zero with reggae music blasting from the home-built, giant Lion Rock soundsystem.

A vegetarian barbecue and the opportunity to crowdsource a community project will also be at the event.

Both women believe that Auckland can remain a beautiful, eco-city if more people can become environmentally aware.

EcoWest will finish on April 13 with EcoDay, a day of eco activities and performances.

Visit to see an interactive calendar showing events happening during EcoWest month.

Western Leader