Autumn 2019

March, 2019

Autumn Equinox Newsletter 2019

Welcome to the autumn edition of the PiNZ newsletter. Over the last year, we have been highlighting stories of people, projects, and places throughout Aotearoa, connecting to the different regions of our permaculture community to bring about a wider deeper network. In this the 4th and last chapter, we are featuring the top half of the North Island. Check out our website for the stories previously featured. Over the next year, we will further this by featuring locations in more detail so let us know if you wish to be one of the stories.

Just under 3 weeks till our 'invite to wilderness' begins at the National Hui in Riverton. This invitation gives us the opportunity to explore: meaningful relationship with land, communities, and networks, connecting disparate groups, ancestral frugality, global communication trends, ways to free out thinking and much more.

If you haven't seen who our key speakers are this year, below is an introduction to their passion they will be sharing, also how you can get involved and share your passion.

Southland is a beautiful part of NZ to visit check out the local page on the PiNZ Hui website for a taster of what is in the area. Want a ticket to the hui Register here, need to sort travel info here - cheap flights through Grab-A-Seat right NOW! And if you wish to apply for the travel equaliser fund, please email the hui team with your request.

At the beginning of March, we charted the numbers of people coming from each region ... looking forward to seeing what the numbers are on April 4... Help your region and join us for an amazing event in the wilderness with inspiring people and conversation. Hope to see you at the Hui!

Keynote Speakers

Robert Guyton .JPG Deep Forest Gardening – Robert GuytonNandor

 Is it safe out there where there is no lawn? If you live, work and play in a forest garden do you become an ent? When you invite wildness in, does the world become more chaotic, or less?

 Once you’ve arrived at a forest garden, do you ever leave?

 Permaculture in New Zealand Today & Tomorrow –  Nandor Tanczos 

 Nāndor is finishing his time as Chair of Permaculture in New Zealand and stepping down from the Council after 7 years. In this talk, he gives his thoughts about where permaculture in New Zealand has come over that time and what he sees as fruitful possibilities for the future. In particular, he aims to explore what PiNZ would look like through a permaculture design lens and whether as an organisation and a movement we do embody permaculture principles.

 RobynThe Story of  Southland’s ‘Permaculture   Pioneers’ –  Past, present, and future – Robyn Guyton

 In the heart of conservative Southland in the late 1980s, we started the Riverton  Organic Growers group, out of which grew over a dozen diverse initiatives across our bioregion.

 Robyn and her team have created a hub where thoughtful, people-based innovation thrives and the environment benefits. With the ideas based on the activities of her early-settler forebears, Robyn has re-set the expectations of many locals & new-comers to the town. Stuart Bull

What is manu whenua –  Stewart Bull (Ngai Tahu) 

 Kaiwhakahaere, Kaitiaki is chairman of the Titi (Beneficial) Islands  Committee,  and member of the Rakiura Titi Islands Committee, the Board of  Pomona  Island Trust and was chairman of the Oraka parima Runaka.  Stewart is also a  member of the Fiordland Guardians and the Southland  Conservation Board.  Stewart’s keynote speech is woven around kotahitanga and the need to work together.

Ella-Lawton-headshot-MR The Needs & Wants of a Thriving Local Food System – Ella Lawton

 Strengthening a local food economy is a practical way to lower a community’s ecological footprint whilst increasing social and economic well-being. The Otago   Food Economy Project provided insights into the needs and wants of producers, consumers and everyone in between, Carl Russell.jpgto highlight opportunities forramping up production. 

       Waters of Te  Wai Pounamu – Karl Russell (Ngai Tahu) 

 My korero will centre around the creation of wai maori and the importance it holds for our old people, from a tapu and noa perspective and the impact that has taken place since (colonisation). Followed by addressing the challenges that we face in this present day as a consequence.

Changing the Face of Farming – David Diprose (Southland Farming   Community)

 David is a Southland Farmer with a vision that will resonate with permaculturalists who see a place for livestock in their systems. Coming from a conservative farming background, David has thought his way through to the cutting-edge of land management that has at its heart, environmental health. His talk will explore the pathway he found himself taking through farmed lands and the destination he and his fellow-farmers hope to someday to reach.

Youth Activities

Woodland crafts - Scavenger hunts - Getting to know the Woodland plants and creatures - Walk up to the bush reserve - Estuary beach visit - Songs and stories in the tepee - Hang out in the hammocks - Clay play - Sandplay - Adventure play -  Treehouse swings - Origami birds’ mobiles & more!

Hui Presentation & Workshops Spaces

There are spaces available at the hui for participants to offer up the skills and passions for the collective, check out the Hui webpage for those already on board, and open space options. Let us know how we can accommodate your wisdom sharing. This could be a practical workshop, a presentation of your work, a discussion about projects, concepts or developments of permaculture.

Expression of Interest for Presentation & Workshops will be selected and confirmed by email. Please indicate if your workshop or presentation is for adult, youth or teenagers. 

Inquiry for these spaces can be sent to Please the team know your name, area you live in, title & description of workshop/ presentation (max 80 words) and a bio of yourself (max of 60 words), plus if you need any assistance for materials or equipment at the hui.


Equinox blessings.

This is my last report as Chair of Permaculture in New Zealand. I will be giving a talk at the hui in a few weeks that goes into more detail on my thinking about the past and future of PiNZ. I will also be making that available on the website, so this is really just a few preliminary thoughts.

I guess this is also a good place to remind people that standard price registrations for the hui close 28 March so get in quick if you still haven’t booked. The hui promises to be well worth the effort of getting there (especially for those of us who live in the North Island). The Guyton’s Food Forest is internationally renowned and the opportunity to get some in-depth learning from the horse’s mouth is just one of the many attractions of this event.

One of the things that the hui has also done is crash-tested the new PiNZ website. We have been taking registrations and payments online for the first time and that has worked pretty well. We had some teething problems for a while and occasionally there are still glitches but it is now mostly smooth running. At the same time membership registrations are also going through online and that has been mostly error-free. The ability for people to set up their membership to auto-renew is a real bonus.

The website had been a priority project for quite a while before I joined the PiNZ Council so having it up and running is a major success. Having good strategic planning and clear prioritisation has also been a focus for me as chair. I think we have come a long way down that road so it feels like a good time to step aside from the chair role and allow some new energy and fresh thinking to come to the fore. I also need to clear space in my life for what is becoming an increasingly major personal focus for me – using my role as a district councillor to help develop a permaculture-informed community and economic development plan, especially in response to climate change.

At the AGM the PiNZ membership elects the Council for the year, and each PiNZ Chair is elected by that Council at its first meeting after the AGM. To prepare for this we having been doing some work on succession. Included in this is some discussion about moving to a co-Chair approach, which I support.

Finally, building a better relationship and coordination between the Council and the Permaculture Educators Guild (PEG) has been something I have tried to do. Again we have gone some way towards this but I think there is huge potential to build a stronger relationship and to turn the Guild into a really valuable peer support network for teachers.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me in my role as Chair. Thanks to all my fellow Council members over the years who have given enormous amounts of time to benefit our organisation and our community of permaculturalists. Thanks to all the pioneers in permaculture who laid a foundation for us.

Blessings to us all.

Feature Stories from the top half of the North Island

 Trish Allen interviews 2 of her Matakana neighbours about their discovery and learnings of permaculture and they how they integrated it into their lives. The   1st  story is Introducing Karen Ward & Hamish Stewart...

 "Our family moved to Matakana Jan 2013 after thinking about it for many years.  The catalyst was Rainbow Valley Farm coming up for sale in   2012 .... We bought a one-  hectare clay field with a north facing slope and a magnificent view, 5 minutes up the hill there."    Click here for the full story.

 The 2nd story is Introducing Erwin ... 

"Our vision is to create a low impact home and lifestyle block or homestead, to produce some of our own food, to restore the soil and ecological health of our land, and to provide a great environment for our kids to enjoy and grow 

up in ..... I have an academic background in materials engineering and later in sustainable building design and renewable energy. "  

See the full story here


Catherine Dunton-McLeod shares her time at a recent Living Design Process course held early this year, up in Whakatane.

"I returned home, fizzing with design ideas to build aliveness into our home and property and life, such that my husband had to hold up his hands in surrender and ask me to take a breath."

Check out her story Living the Living Design Process



1:40 pm on Saturday 6th April 2019. 

Held at the Permaculture in New Zealand National Hui

20 Thames Street, Riverton, Southland, 9822

All current financial members of PiNZ are entitled to vote


Sun 7th – Tue 9th April

Coastal Otago is a dynamic environment, geographically, climatically and socially location. You will experience diverse and creative responses to this at ten projects ranging from Dunedin’s tiniest intensely packed food forest to rural mixed forestry and tree crops. Highlights include: Staying at Bird Lodge in the Coastal Forest of Tautuku Bay in the Catlins. Powhiri onto Dunedin City’s Arai te UruMarae and presentations on Maori history of the area, land-use patterns and the impact of climate change. extensive native restoration planting winding through suburbia. Otago Polytechnic’s ‘Living Campus’. A self-reliant & low-cost appropriate tech homestead. An intensive chicken and perennials powered quarter acre home garden. Habitate Heritage Fruits Nursery & Waitati Open Orchard’s guerrilla fruit verges.

Spaces still available for this great tour .... More info can be found here


Manaaki Whenua: How We Care For Our Land       March 18       More Info

Living wood Fair     Sat 13 - Sun 14 April     More Info 

Bay of Plenty Design Course   Starts 4 May     More Info

Introduction to Ecovillage Living & Design    14 - 16 June     More Info

Gardening Essentials    Starts 22 June   More Info

Permaculture Facilitators Training Course     26 - 30 June    More Info

DEADLINE for Submissions to the Winter Newsletter 10 JUNE 2019