The Importance of Getting a Permaculture Education

Nothing really substitutes for a personal understanding of permaculture as a whole systems design approach. You can pay a professional designer to produce a plan for you but without a real understanding of the ecological thinking that underpins it, it will be a challenge to implement properly and difficult for the result to have real integrity. Only people with an on-going relationship to the landscape, community or organisation can provide lengthy, thoughtful and sensitive observation/interaction that will give rise to a genuinely living design process.

That is why having a well-developed and reliable permaculture education pathway is so critical. Watching videos, reading books and sharing ideas with people, even doing an "Introduction to Permaculture" course is a great start, but it is very easy to miss important elements of permaculture thinking without the comprehensive treatment that comes from doing the basic permaculture qualification – the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC).To complement and enhance (but not replace) a PDC,  there are numerous short courses, workshops, and demonstrations covering specific aspects of permaculture. Many permaculturalists also offer opportunities for informal one-to-one learning ranging from short-term WWOOFing through to internships. Finally, the Permaculture Diploma is a 2-year journey into applying permaculture design to a specific project. This is arranged through the Permaculture Educators Guild (see below).


The Importance of Learning with a PiNZ Affiliated Teacher

PiNZ affiliated teachers go through a process to demonstrate that their course covers the core curriculum (recognising that each course also has its own particular strengths and emphasis). They have to provide evidence that they are competent and capable of teaching permaculture. They have access to a peer-support network that provides them with opportunities to share information and ideas with other teachers and improve their teaching. They have to sign up to our feedback and complaints procedure – which provides protections for both students and teachers by ensuring that any issues are dealt with in a fair and proper manner. They also commit to linking students into the broader permaculture community on completion of their PDC, through membership of PiNZ.

The Permaculture Educators Guild

Teacher affiliation, diploma applications, and peer support are provided by the Permaculture Educators Guild. If you have any issues or questions relating to permaculture education in Aotearoa New Zealand (apart from questions about course availability, in which case see the events listings on this website) please contact the PEG coordinator at