Autumn 2020

March, 2020

Welcome to the Autumn Edition of the PiNZ Newsletter

The changes we are facing this Autumn are far bigger than we expected. With the storm winds and the falling leaves come the reality of adapting to a limited world a reality unknown. For some of us, this may be not a big difference as our lives are set outside the larger social norms, through regular interaction with the natural world or by primarily working in solitude on a computer screen. Though for most, this is an adjustment that will take a lot of patience and tenacity as the patterns of our lives become altered – maybe permanently.

What Time Is It On The Permaculture Clock? 

"So many alternative thinking people have been ‘waiting’ and preparing for this moment of the dramatic collapse of an unsustainable 21st-century ‘civilisation’ as we have known it, to make way for a truly sustainable society based on Permaculture principles. Anyone who has stumbled across permaculture typically does a disorientating somersault to shake up their worldview and land back on their feet to walk in a different direction, unlikely to revert to retracing their imprinted steps on the treadmill." 

   Read Robina McCurdy full article here

PiNZ Hui April 2020 – Update

With the hui theme of “Sustaining Ourselves In These Times Of Change” becoming even more relevant by the day, we would have loved for the event to go ahead so we could share our combined knowledge and build a greater degree of resilience with attendees to be shared across the wider New Zealand community. Obviously, this couldn’t happen under the enforcement of Level 3, then Level 4 coming into action, so instead, we are needing to do as much as possible virtually. The Whanganui team and the PiNZ Council aim for the next hui to be held at Te Ao Hou Marae, though this could not be until this time next year.

PiNZ AGM Announcement

Due to the indefinite postponement of the 2020 Annual Permaculture Hui, the PiNZ AGM will be held in the next few months online. This will involve a combination of online discussion spaces (eg. forums and Zoom), online Council election, and online voting on some constitutional changes.

While we would prefer an in-person AGM, establishing some online infrastructure will have the added benefit of enabling more participation in the AGM from those who could not attend in person - this year and in the future.

More thorough information will be sent out in the next few weeks when the process and exact dates are clear. Below you will find the links for the PiNZ annual reports from our Chairperson, Treasurer, and PEG representative.

Staying Connected with Permaculture in New Zealand

Permaculture in New Zealand has a participant-based website - sign up as a website member and gain

access to adding stories, events, resources to help shape and grow the knowledge database of Aotearoa's Permaculture. The stories we feature, like the ones above, come from our permaculture community, and we are always looking for more perspectives to highlight what is happening around Aotearoa… would you like to be featured in a future newsletter? Email Lillee for advice on how to post up your story.

We also have a very active Facebook page if you are connected to this media. In the first 2 weeks of April, we gained 535 new members to this page. March we gained 637, Feb 344‬, Jan 246‬, Dec 152.  Permaculture is growing rapidly, and this site is providing a huge link towards sharing and supporting community growth. If you haven't joined, give it a try, help guide and answer the queries posted by our newbies.

Featured Stories & Articles

Operating Within Lockdown in Our Eco-Community - By Robina McCurdy

"As this year’s Chairperson of our Land Trust, I have had to guide our Trust Board in navigating changes to our way of life, in response to the government’s requirements ... As a futurist visionary with an extrapolating analytical mind, I am pre-empting the impact of COVID-19 on our economy and culture, and activating changes in our community and my personal life. Here are some of my reflections based on experiences within this lockdown/rahui time, with reference to the 12 Permaculture Principles.  I hope you enjoy this autumn-time adventure around Tui!"    Read here


PermaDynamics Klaus Lotz, Vanessa Keegan, Frida Lotz-Keegan, Matthew Dami, and Josh Lotz-Keegan make up the tribe of this family-run-farm and permaculture education centre on Mamaku community trust land in Matapouri, Northland.
They use the ‘Syntropy’ dynamic agroforestry technique and are certified organic with Demeter.    Read Frida story here


WW = Waste Wizards by Vincent

"I remember back to October 2015 and I'd been doing a lot of bin monitoring for “the Little Big Markets” crew. I remember volunteering to manage the waste station monitors for the season of local summer Thursday night markets, “Dinner in The Domain’ in return for a thousand-dollar donation made to the community garden. It was my first taste managing the waste system at an event and even though they had pesky wheelie bins with silly lids, I grew lots from it. I was able to take compostable event waste to the garden compost and nurture it through its decomposition. "   Read the full story here.

Networking Community Gardens By Robina McCurdy

"At this time when food security and mental sanity are paramount, around the country there is a grassroots movement that has been slowly and steadily ‘building up its fertility, and if it were given a good dollop of financial compost, would likely bear prolifically and put down copious roots all across the country. The key question is ... "      

Continue reading Robina's article here

RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter’s Guide to a Resilient Future 

Last week permaculture co-originator David Holmgren along with Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis and permaculture funk-swing band Formidable Vegetable launched the online ‘Pay-What-You-Feel’ version of his bestseller, as an antidote to the global crises unfolding in 2020.

If you did not get to see this, here is the YouTube link.

Here is a trailer about the book from its pre-release date in 2018. For more information about purchasing a hard or digital copy of the book visit

April 6th David published an article The Problem is the Solution: How Permaculture-Designed Household Isolation can Lead to RetroSuburbia here is a little snippet …

“COVID-19, an invisible agent that barely qualifies as a lifeform, is bringing the most powerful civilisation the world has ever seen to a grinding halt. In three months, it may have led to a 10 to 20 times greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions than all the science, talk and technology have done in more than three decades.

A home-based lifestyle of self-reliance, minimal and slow travel does not provide protection against getting a virus as infectious as COVID-19, but it provides a base for social distancing and isolation that is stimulating and healthy rather than a place of detention. This psychological health-giving factor may be more important in these times than the actual level of self-sufficiency achieved in the household economy.”

What a great time to get re-connected, or discover Jordan and Antoinette,  Aotearoa New Zealand filmmakers who as they put it... “make solutions-focused documentaries that explore how we can build resilient communities and landscapes in the face of global challenges. We share the stories of inspirational people creating a more beautiful world.”
Find more about them and the team here and see their long list on free (or donation contribution to help make more) documenters they have created Some of my favourites are Fools and Dreamers, Incredible Abundant City Permaculture Garden, and extended the interviews with Charles Eisenstein, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Ted Trainer and David Holmgren, among others.

Morag Gamble from Permaculture Education Institute in Australia has brought out a COVID-19 Resilience Care Pack - Ways to build personal and community resilience with permaculture.

There is 10 practical how-to films and 12 blogs about no-dig gardening, simple composting, worm towers, quick vegetables, growing medicinals, creating a thriving edible garden, community food systems creating a small-scale garden, some recipes and more. To get access to this pack visit ...

Chairperson Report - Dave Hursthouse

Kia ora e te whānau whānui o Permaculture in New Zealand!

What an awe-inspiring year 2020 has been so far. We are living in times that so many of us have been expecting and preparing for over many, many years. Bushfires unprecedented in living memory, orange skies, and the crippling of global economics - to name a few of this years’ most intriguing events. It is in these times and those to come that the kaupapa of Earth Care and People Care becomes increasingly important, and the skills and knowledge we hold as a community of Permaculturalists can be applied to the uplifting of our communities.

As we’re all hunkering down in our bubbles, faced with the upheaval of society as we’ve known it, the activities of the PiNZ Council over the last year may seem small and insignificant by comparison. However, it is the time of year for reports and AGMs!

Click here to read the full report that covers ... COVID-19; Hui & AGM;  Cleaning up;  Economic Strategy; Participation and Mahi Strategy; Membership; Gratitude; & We’re in this together.

Treasures Report

Kia ora PiNZ Members,

First I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding as the council works through these difficult times to manage some significant system overhauls and financial impacts that recent events have had on our volunteer-run charitable organisation. As you can see from the P&L and Balance Sheet PiNZ is running at a loss for the financial year ending 31 March 2020. Thank you all for your membership and donations, which is helping to keep things afloat.

The financial reports are accessible through this LINK. There is a need to provide better formatting for web display and clean up some aspects of the data, which is a carryover using excel to a software-based system. There is also a need to get online payment functions to grab important transaction information and send it to the bank for ease in reconciliation, loads of hula hoops to jump through to make this happen, a focus for this year.

As with previous years' financial reporting, there is a combination of income and expenses from Hui spanning two years as some Hui fall on the cusp of the ending fiscal year. One update going forward is to bring in separate income codes for even and odd year Hui to assist in the financial overview. 

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me at and I will do my best to clarify.

Clare Wimmer
Treasurer, PiNZ

PEG Report - April 2020

It’s been another quiet year for the Permaculture Educators Guild this year.
We’ve only had 2 diploma proposals and 3 affiliated teacher applications – 2 of which were approved and 1 is currently under discussion. 
We have also been quiet with internal discussion in our Loomio group.

Enquiry and student feedback
Some of the feedback coming from people wanting to start their diploma is the lack of updated email addresses of the mentors on the PiNZ site, and it was felt that the mentors should also have the region that they work in, along with the email addresses.

Additional feedback is that PDC students would like to see some diploma work on the website so that they can see what has been done before.  I think this would definitely encourage students to be more imaginative with their diploma work. It has been discussed in the past, but it would be good to see these examples up there – we have some fabulous ones to showcase.

PiNZ affiliated teachers
PEG would like to see more of our permaculture tutors around New Zealand affiliating with PiNZ.  To this end, we would like to encourage all permaculture teachers out there to apply for affiliation – just contact Dee – for all the information on this.  Put in an application – we don’t bite!

Dee Turner
PEG Co-ordinator

PiNZ Volunteer Opportunities

If your keen to help out the PiNZ organisation, we are always looking for ideas, contribution, and aid growing and developing our Strategic Plan and Permaculture throughout Aotearoa New Zealand

Check out PiNZ Website for the position being advertised currently.

Or email us with your thoughts to

Becoming a Financial Member of Permaculture in New Zealand

If you love what we are doing and you wish to grow & strengthen PiNZ, please consider becoming a new or renewed member by Joining Up Here

Permaculture in New Zealand is a volunteer Charity Organisation, that relies on our financial memberships and our annual hui to cover the yearly running of our organisation.  As the hui was cancelled, we are asking for Donations to help cover the cost of running PiNZ and the costs that occurred relating to the hui

  Thank you for your consideration.

If you would like to submit a story or content to the newsletter, please email before 10th June 2020


Permaculture in New Zealand (Inc)
c/- PO Box 173
New Zealand