Previous Council Members


Previous Council Members

Jenny- Kaye Potaka






​Ko Hikurangi te maunga

Ko Waiapu te awa

Ko Ngati Porou te iwi

Gardening was probably in Jenny-Kaye’s genes and growing up in Gisborne with big gardens around her. She followed this interest to Lincoln to study horticulture before working in the industry, running horticulture training courses for troubled Northland youth. This led on to community development work with the Community Employment Group in the Far North.

Having completed her PDC with Max Lindegger in Whanganui (1988) she went on to complete  Advanced Diplomas in both Permaculture Design and in Permaculture Teaching in Australia. She went on to teach permaculture short courses as part of the University of Auckland Community Education programme, and worked as a permaculture resource person for the Planning Department, as well as undertaking design work.

Life took several turns (including three children) and Jenny-Kaye found herself in Wellington, where she did campaign work with the Greens at Parliament and later ran a school garden club while filling her suburban garden with a multitude of fruit species.

More recently Jenny-Kaye, along with her partner, have taken on a heritage rose garden and nursery in Otaki which they are slowly turning towards becoming an organic/permaculture demonstration garden.



Passions are to bring about significant change in the lives of people, communities, and the environment through community development, permaculture design, education, organic growing, the creation of participatory processes for decision making and collective action.

Robina completed her first PDC in Oratia Auckland, with Max Lindigger and Lee Harrison (from Australia) in 1985. She holds a Diploma in Permaculture, a Diploma in Seed Technology, as well as various teaching qualifications. Robina was also is also the first Aotearoan to be formally recognised as a Permaculture Elder at the Australasian Permaculture Convergence APC13 in Perth 2016.

Over the years Robina has taught 12 Permaculture Design Certificate Courses, 7 Permaculture Teachers Training Courses and about 150 short workshops in specific aspects of permaculture.  She has also trained in the field of Deep Ecology with Joanna Macy, facilitating Deep Ecology experiences in New Zealand.

Robina is co-founder/resident/trustee of Tui Land Trust & Community, the founder/trustee of the Institute for Earthcare Education Aotearoa the originator/coordinator/tutor of Golden Bay's 'PLANET Organic', a year-long vocational training in community-scale sustainable land use design, management & facilitation, as well as SEED (Schools Environmental Education & Development) in South Africa which is now a national-scale permaculture in schools programme. More recently she was co-ordinator/designer/tutor of Victory Villages Community Garden in Nelson, and an educator with Christchurch's Harbour Basin Food Resilience Project.

As an ecovillage designer, she has facilitated development stages of Earthsong Eco-neighbourhood, Otamatea Ecovillage, Turanga Farm Eco-hamlet, Gricklegrass Community, Riverside Community, Tui Community, Atamai Ecovillage and Awaawaroa Ecovillage. Overseas she has worked as a facilitator with Findhorn Community (Scotland), Crystal Waters Ecovillage (Australia), OUR Ecovillage (Canada), Bordatien Ecovillage (Ireland), Good Enough COmmunity (USA), The landless People's Movement communities, (Brazil), Garapaba Ecovillage (Brazil), Tholego and Swellendam Ecovillages (Sth Africa).

Currently, Robina is the director of Earthcare's 'Localising Food Project' and is engaged in documentary production on this theme as well as collaborating to design and develop a new large-scale ecovillage in Aotearoa-NZ. Robina brings a wealth of driving energy, knowledge, experience and connections to the PiNZ Council. 



Robina MaCurdy














James Andrews



Comes from Palmerston North and a long line of gardeners. He studied Parks and Recreation at Lincoln Uni and spent some years working and playing in the mountains and forests of Aotearoa.

Exploring life through a Permaculture lens James’s has completed an internship with the Koanga Institute, gardened at home, started a small market garden, launched a sourdough bread business, worked as a polytechnic tutor in Horticulture and Rural sustainability, as well as running workshops on permaculture, gardening, seed saving, nutrition, and Holistic Decision Making.

With his wife Pip and kids Lilly and Finn, he is currently settling into life on a small block near Mangawhai Village in Northland.  He started to Thrive Permaculture in early 2015 as a professional permaculture design facilitation service. Permaculture Design work gives James the unique opportunity to get to know people and landscapes and be a part of a process that brings them together in a meaningful way.

James believes re-integrating humans as a positive force within nature is infinitely complex, interesting, challenging, multifaceted and rewarding work. As a new member of the PINZ Council, he brings Holistic management, enthusiasm, and necessary insight.



Originally from Cape Town, South Africa. At age 21 he moved to London and worked in the field of advertising. During this time he traveled extensively witnessing people living in different ways to the norm of the cities and after realising that there were other ways to live he decided to ‘live off the land’ in Mozambique.

A friend who had completed a PDC gave him Bill Mollison's Big Black Book and that sparked his Permaculture journey. He built his first home and gardens with permaculture principles. Sean completed the first of three PDC’s in Mozambique. He took these skills and volunteered at many projects from India to the wild coast of Africa.

After a few years of travel and living at the beach, he decided to grow roots and explore eco-village living and moved to a rural eco-village in South Africa where he co-created the Rainbow Homestead, a living and learning Ecoversity based on Permaculture and social justice principles. There he created gardens, food forests, a home from local materials. He also built Yurts that many local and international visitors stayed in.

Several years and much learning later, in 2016, Sean and his family moved to New Zealand attracted by the egalitarian society and a climate similar to South Africa.

Now in Hamilton and enjoying urban living, Sean is working to create cohousing, community-supported agriculture and is connecting back with permaculture through the PiNZ network bringing systems thinking, efficiency, learning from nature and his life experience to the Permaculture Council of New Zealand to make PINZ stronger.


Sean Murphy