Southland is the Next Years Hui Location!

Southland is the Next Years Hui Location!

This is a small section from the latest PiNZ Newsletter.  

Thanks to Robyn and Robert Guyton for all the content provided, and for opening up their home and community to share with us.

Southland is the Next Years Hui Location!

Robyn Guyton traveled to the National Hui held in Bay of Plenty to represent her region, host the next National Hui in her hometown of Riverton in 2019. We are excited at this opportunity to connect with our permaculture family in this area and to help Robert and Robyn create a great Hui for their region. We are planning several ways to make your visit to this hui as smooth, fun and affordable as possible.

We have talked about the following events... 

'Invitation to Wildness' 2019 National Permaculture Hui

3- 7 April 2019

Welcome to the tiny south coast fishing village and beach resort of Riverton. Home to Robert & Robyn Guyton’s forest garden, studded with the jewels of the region’s heritage fruit trees, provides varied spaces for meeting and mooting; in circles amongst the trees, under the cover of canvas or our insulated community-sized Mongolian yurt and inside of our enormous grow-house and teaching space. 
Hui workshops will focus on many on Heritage: seeds, fruit, technologies, and values; how did our forebears “make do” without the trappings of modern society: supermarkets, smartphones, ease of travel and credit?

Road Trips to Riverton

26 - 29 March 2019

We are planning these bus trips from Dunedin & Queenstown enable cheaper and easier traveling to the Hui that will also create an extend permaculture related holiday by visiting permaculture people, properties, and projects on route to the Hui. 'Obtain Multiple Yields'! - Streamlined travel with like-minded companions whilst talking permaculture and with no work involved!! If you want to join us on these journies or have a property/ project in any of these areas watch for more details to come in the Spring Newsletter. Jason Ross will be taking on the organising for Dunedin and Florence Micoud for Queenstown.

Heritage Harvest Festival 

30 & 31 March 2019

Coming to Riverton early? This annual autumn festival brings together the local community with visitors from far and wide to celebrate the years' abundant harvest.

It showcases the region’s home & orchard grown produce and provides a large range of heritage & harvest-themed workshops: preserving fruit, keeping bees, making willow hurdles and many more.

Displays will showcase projects from around the area and there will be local produce available for purchase from the farmers market. A  harvest café is set up for the weekend, plus music, a pot-luck feast & friendly company! 

This is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich diversity of Southland before attending the Hui the following week.

Long Wood Mountain Loop for Rural Resilience

The newly proposed Western Southland loop around the Longwood mountains will pass by 15 small country towns with several more on the edges that can work in.  A truck will pick up and drop off along that loop to each communities ‘depot.’  Bottled milk, artisan bread, knitted socks, vegetables, fruit, handmade gifts, wooden spoons, weekly Western Southland Newspaper, chemist prescriptions, mail,  cut flowers. There will be many opportunities for social enterprise and self-employment which is unlimited!  

This resilience project is being launched in Spring 2018 and after the Hui 2019 Monday 8th those who would like to do the road trip and see 5 Heritage orchards as well as 15 struggling townships with cheap land and housing that would flourish with this loop enterprise- you may well want to relocate  so we will have the latest real estate catalogue with us for the trip!

Travel Info to Riverton

Although Invercargill is only 30 minutes from Riverton away by car,  flights into Invercargill are more expensive and less frequent than to Queenstown or Dunedin, which is why we have started the tours from there. The drive from Dunedin to Riverton is 3 hours via the lovely Catlins Coastal Scenic route and from Queenstown its 2.5 hours.

Our Community

Our local permaculture 'community'  are diverse in age, culture, skills, and lifestyles  includes many people with a couple of acres of land in various stages of development e.g. a couple self-sufficient for 30 years, 7-year-old food forest wrapped around a BMX track, we have a community forest Garden in the Centre of town. We have hurdle makers, Yoga teachers, a strong Steiner group, clay oven makers, potters, beekeepers, wood turners, homeschooling is common, massage skills of various styles e.g. lomilomi. Tiny home dwellers, cider makers and more.  Diversity is our strength and keeps life interesting for us all.


There is a vast array of options available...Camp accommodation in the woodland features 7-metre teepee, tent, chalet and hobbit hole, caravan, loft and 12-metre yurt with numerous woodland clearings for owner-carried tents. Elsewhere in the village, billets, holiday houses, backpackers, motels, camping ground and B&B’s are bountiful as well as freedom camping on the beach. Riverton is compact and almost everything is within a 30-minute walking distance.


As Riverton's weather is moderated by the coast, it is not extreme, and Autumn's temperatures can vary from year to year, so its good to prepare for the balmy warm nights and the chilly mornings that could happen. We can give you a more reliable weather update before you pack your bags.



Robyn and Robert Guyton live on the edge of town, at the edge of the world. Riverton, on Southland's Southcoast, has been their home for the 30 or so years it's taken them to raise 3 children and a forest garden, create an environment  center,  an organic food cooperative,  an estuary care group,  a community food forest, an annual harvest festival, a string of heritage orchards across the region and a whole lot of other environment and heritage-based happenings. Robyn is the visionary behind much of this activity, being far-sighted and determined, while Robert, somewhat flighty, wields a mean spade and gets on well with trees.

Both are trained as teachers in their early adulthood, and both enjoy communicating their passions through public media and engaging in wider community development. Robert writes for the NZ Gardener, Get Growing and Riverton Coastline Magazine and is a councilor for the Southland Regional Council. Robyn teaches part-time at a local school and for 20+ years has been the project manager for the SouthCoast Environment Centre.

Robyn and Robert will be supported in the hui organisation by the Southland Permaculture Community


 Pre & post hui destinations you can visit when in the area…


Posible 3-day tours of Southland/Fiordland will be organised potentially held between the Harvest Festival and Permaculture Hui, by Venture Southland in conjunction with South Coast Environment Society  More info on this in the next newsletter.