At the Dumpling Hut roof unveiling: (from left) Steve Donaldson, of Tansley Electrical, Keith Ivey, of Calder Stewart Roofing, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson, Invercargill MP Eric Roy and Mike Tou, of Calder Stewart Roofing

I was at a roof unveiling on Friday.  This wasn’t any old roof – it was a great example of the innovation of Southland companies as Calder Stewart and Tansley Electrical had donated their time and materials to put one of their new products on the Milford Track’s Dumpling Hut.

The new solar roofing will power the Hut, working in a part of the country that receives 7 m of rain per annum.  Environmentally it’s a winner, using solar radiation so it works even on cloudy days.

The technology, developed down South, has wider implications as we look for better ways to sustainably meet future energy needs.

We need to make use of renewable energy – whether it be solar, tidal, or wind.  The advances these local companies are delivering are going to prove a huge advantage as we try to reduce our dependence on less sustainable forms of supply.