Autumn 2018

March, 2018

Autumn Equinox Newsletter 2018
Welcome to the new season of cooling days, first feijoas & falling leaves, and perhaps the last days of summer swims. Here's hoping for more equilibrium in Autumn after the deluges, heat waves and cyclone of Summer.
Some of us around the country experienced an exciting mini-version of the kinds of 'wake-up' events on the horizon of Climate Change/Climate Catastrophe! Robina from Golden Bay, reports access to that bio-region being cut off for some weeks due to severe mountain road slips (still happening), unprecedented flooding, the 'panic run' on the Takaka supermarket which cleared out most of the shelves in one day. Also petrol stations completely running out of diesel, rationing petrol to $30 fill-ups (and no fill-up cans) etc. Then the old barge got into action as the main goods transport system!  A great opportunity to test community resilience! And this all happened during the summer residential PDC!  Fortuitously the resilience strategies dialogued between all sectors of the community at the annual 'Sustainable Golden Bay' hui the following week, were palpably real.

National Permaculture Hui 2018 

Generating Change 

 Thurs 10 – Sun 13th May - Waihi Beach, Bay of Plenty.


This collaborative event is the annual celebration of Permaculture goodness from all around Aotearoa. The National Hui offers significant space for co-creation, and we invite you to participate in this, bring anything you may have to offer your community – be it your skills, insight, wisdom, music, activities and/or presentations.

We are all volunteers so get involved! Please check out our facebook eventwebsite orcontact usWe would love to talk to you.

We look forward to meeting all of the wonderful participants and exploring what emerges when we all get together again in one place.

Check out our confirmed presenters here
We have a great rate for children and a special programme for them so bring the whole family along! The children’s coordinator is Mela Herbert, from Taupo.

The event is fully catered with great food, sourced from local, organic farms and cooked with skill and love by Charlotte Pearsall. 
Let the fun begin!

PiNZ Chair Report

Warm greetings to everyone as we move into the autumn cycle. It’s been a bit of a crazy summer and this feels like a good time to take stock, clean up, put things away and review our plans for the winter.

I just want to mention a couple of things in this report. The first is the annual PiNZ hui. There is more detailed information about it in the article above, so here I just want to encourage you to come. Like all our hui, it is going to be a great opportunity to catch up with friends, meet some amazing new people, learn a bunch of new things and share the teachings that have been given to you over the past year. There is a great line up of presenters covering a wide range of topics, from the challenging to the gently reflective. It’s going to be awesome. Register now!

Secondly, our website has had a mishap, as you may have noticed. Our hosters went bust and left us in the lurch, but rather than spend energy to reinstate what was there we have decided to forge ahead to get the new site up as a matter of priority. The new (development) site is really looking great and we are in the process of combing through any issues around how it works for different kinds of devices (phones, tablets, iPad's, laptops etc), testing it for different kinds of users and ironing out any glitches. In the meantime the URL goes to a holding page which has contact info and an ad for the hui.

I’ll be drafting a full chair report for the AGM, which will be held at the hui. I aim to get it out to members a week or so beforehand so that people have a chance to read it in advance. Look forward to seeing you there.

Blessings Nandor


Social Permaculture*Invisible Structures Hui
March 16-18 at Sixtus Lodge, Apiti, Palmerston North

Close to 40 beings of all ages from around NZ attended this hui - the 5th in the ‘Making Permaculture Stronger’ series.  As is typical of these hui, participants who are present create the programme in situ, based on their shared interests and passions.  The mode of this hui was more exploratory than a major sharing of tools, techniques, projects and professional practice, as happened at the Professional Designers Hui last year.  Sharon Stevens and her team from RECAP did an excellent job all round. The venue was suitable and affordable, we ate heartily, deep dialogue happened, great alliances were made, and the kids had a fun time.  

A useful way to get a feel for the hui is to take a look at its session themes:  

* Group Processes & Decision Making – to determine operational processes and hui structure and topics.

* Social Permaculture & Invisible Structures - to explore the definitions of social permaculture and invisible structures and how they relate to each other, how they relate to design process, etc.

* PC Approach to the Landscape of your Life – Doris Zuur facilitated a workshop on regarding your life akin to a landscape, applying analysis tools and the PC design process to creating a wholistic lifestyle.  She is willing to share this process with others.

* Decolonization Of Permaculture -  defining ‘decolonization’, identifying its characteristics and impacts, and exploring what it means to practice permaculture in ‘colonized’ countries.

* Designing For Bio-Cultural Life-ways - Creating land-based cultures that can sustain themselves into the future.  Key questions we addressed:  What is the interplay between humans and our environment and social systems?  What contributes to a really live relationship between humans and their environment?  What are the patterns of projects we worked on that have been a transformative learning?  In offering transformative experiences (e.g. permaculture course) what needs to be built in?

* Alternative Economics - Savings Pools, Mutual Aid Societies, Collective Insurance
This was primarily a presentation by Kama Burwell and Bryan Innes on the next step of bottom-up economic power:  an ethical insurance Aotearoa/NZ based on Permaculture principles – how it can work, with questions and feedback from participants, and strategy for ‘start-up’.

13th International Permaculture
Conference & Convergence in India
November/ December 2017
by Trish Allen

Around 20 kiwi permies attended the IPC in India last December, many of them volunteering for the mammoth task of setting up the Convergence site on a farm from scratch for 500 people.
The event began with the Conference in Hyderabad at the Agricultural University.  About 1200 delegates attended including 350 international participants from 60 countries and 450 local Indian farmers.  The event kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony honouring the seeds where an Indian woman carried seed baskets on her head into the auditorium.  A powerful keynote address from Vandana Shiva set the scene for two days of presentations from 40 speakers.
Then it was onto buses for the 500 convergence attendees for the 3 hour drive to Polam Farm.  The job done by the team of volunteers to set up the camp was phenomenal.  Not only had hundreds of tents been erected, but pit toilets and bucket showers built and vege gardens set up that provided a good proportion of the food for the event.  Over the next 5 days permaculture practitioners from around world gathered, met each other, shared knowledge and expertise, and strategized about the future of permaculture.  It was an opportunity to exchange, showcase projects, network and innovate, with 80 speakers, 11 panel discussions and 4 Co-lab sessions.  At a Skills and Artisans area we could learn all sorts of Indians crafts from spinning, making a knife out of scrap steel, to winnowing seeds, throwing a pottery bowl, cooking a chappati, weaving a flax basket.  Every evening there was spectacular cultural programme that included Indian classical dance, musicians and tribal dancers.  
Before and after the IPC there were a full range of edge events:  a PDC, Teacher Training Course, Social Permaculture Course and tours of permaculture farms/sites.
For me personally it was a deeply enriching experience and I came home knowing just how privileged I am to live in Aotearoa/New Zealand.  
Some of us who attended will be giving an presentation at the National Hui in May.

Course & Workshops

SACRED SPACE DESIGN - Sat 5 & Sun 6 May 2018
Kawai Purapura Retreat Centre, North Shore, Auckland

Working permaculture methodology, earth-energy fields and nature attunement, to design harmonic spaces for relaxation, inspiration and aesthetic delight, which revitalise yourself, your home environment and your special places...see poster above

Contact:   Ph 0220 668577

PDC - 12-25 May, 2018 

at Te Moata, Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula Tutors:  Trish Allen & Daniel Tohill

Email:    07 8688798

Teachers Training Course
Straight after the National Hui...see poster above.

Intro to Permaculture Courses
Happening at 3 locations throughout the Christchurch region this winter.

Learn about Permaculture's Ethics & Principles through a matrix of examples that will expand your knowledge of Permaculture and how to use it in your everyday life.

For more information contact:
Thurs 4 Oct – Mon 22 Oct, 2018  - Anahata Retreat Centre, Golden Bay
Tutors: Robina McCurdy & Guenther Andraschko

This course, taught in an integrated hands-on way, goes beyond the standard residential International Permaculture Design Certificate curriculum. Yoga, deep relaxation and meditation sessions are woven into the daily schedule, combining the inner ecology of conscious living (yoga) with the sustainable ecology of the biosphere (Permaculture).

More Info & Registration:



The Society for the Resilience and Engagement of the Community of Ashhurst and Pohangina, Incorporated. Offer courses all year round from Intro's & PDC to practical hands on skills and talks.
More info at:

Auckland Permaculture Workshop’s...
mission is to increase the resilience and wealth of Auckland’s bioregion through education in ecological design, social innovation and the appropriate use of technology.


Of the twelve one-weekend-day-a-month workshops in their annual Permaculture Design Certificate programme, the following in 2018 are still to come: Appropriate Technology, Tree Crops, Economics for People, Built Environment, Urban Design and Living, Resources and Redefining Waste, Fertile Gardening, Empowerment and Resilience, Living Locally in the Auckland Bioregion.
More info at:


Koanga Institute
Offers apprenticeships, internships and ‘Workshops for Regenerative Living’ throughout the year.  eg Butchery & Meat Processing, Propagation, Food Security. 
Has a range of courses throughout the year, providing experiential learning opportunities that nurture people, planet and spirit. 
Contact: Doris Zuur

Practical Learning Aotearoa Internship Trail - PLAIT

Toru Education is excited to report about the design and development phase of PLAIT throughout Aotearoa. We are looking for feedback, proposals, and offers of help in networking & growing this into life. Contact Doris Zuur 027281157 
Bryan & Jo's North Island Winter Tour
Bryan Innes & Jo Pearsall are planning a month long winter North Island trip to connect with people interested in starting alternative currencies, particularly Savings Pools and collective insurance schemes, or in strengthening/expanding their existing current local economic systems. Plus other permaculture issues. 
The tour (no fees) will be organised around those interested in hosting these conversations. They plan to be on the road from the last week in May for about a month. And they already have tentative bookings in Auckland and Taranaki.

Please get in touch asap if you are interested. They will have a selection of garden tools with them as well.
Email: or Jo: 021 739398
Local Food Appetiser
As NZ permaculturalists are likely aware, quiet revolution is growing in our communities, seeding multi-generational solutions for our food!
This is depicted in the recently completed documentary, made entirely through Crowd Funding support: ‘EDIBLE PARADISE /GROWING THE FOOD FOREST REVOULTION’. This doco has just been selected to premiere at NZ’s Doc 2018 Edge Film Festival.
This film takes us to inspiring initiatives all over the country, and   particularly the edible landscaping of Christchurch’s earthquake-aftermath ‘red zones’.

Visit the website where you can see the trailer for this doc, how to do a community screening and contribute to the immediate fundraising round for adding support materials in preparation for the film festival showing.
RetroSuburbia is part manual and part manifesto. The book shows how Australian suburbs can be transformed to become productive and resilient in an energy decent future. It focuses on what can be done by an individual at the household level (rather than community or government levels).


RetroSuburbia is a source of inspiration, introducing concepts and outlining patterns and practical solutions. It empowers people to make positive changes in their lives. As with David’s previous work, it is thought provoking and provocative.

If you are already on the path of downshifting and living simply, exploring RetroSuburbia will be a confirmation and celebration that you are on the right track and guide you on the next steps forward. If you are just beginning this journey, it provides a guide to the diversity of options and helps work out priorities for action.  For people concerned about making ends meet in more challenging times, RetroSuburbia provides a new lens for creatively sidestepping the obstacles.

The book outlines options available to retrofitters in three ‘fields’ – the Built, Biological and Behavioural – along with speculation on the future and philosophical musings. Throughout the book, examples from David’s ‘Aussie St’ story and real life case studies support and enhance the main content. RetroSuburbia can be read as a whole, cover to cover, or can be dipped into according to your interests.


It is self-published through Melliodora Publishing – in itself an expression of the values and processes espoused in the book. It is directly marketed to the public through the networks that bypass the monopolistic online conglomerates.

RetroSuburbia is almost 600 pages in full colour with 556 photos and over 100 watercolour illustrations from permaculture illustrator Brenna Quinlan.

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