Winter 2021

June, 2021

  2021 Winter Newsletter

It is now the 1st of July and last week's weather has brought about a real taste of winter and the special role it has in our cycle of the seasons. Though today as I finish up this newsletter, the sun is out and I am reminded of the need to stay connected to the big world beyond the warmth of my home. I am looking at my seed collection to see what I will start to sow in trays in the polytunnels ready for spring transplanting. And, for myself, what intentions and plans are in the creation and preparation for when spring brings about the new life forms that emerge as the days lengthen.

I am encouraged by the stories and passion of those that are featured in this newsletter, to stay strong and keep moving towards these ever-evolving goals we set ourselves. In a world that is waking up to the need to make big changes and the real tough conversations that are happening. We, as a permaculture community, have a toolbox full of options, knowledge, and skill to share and aid others. Networking and connecting is an essential ways to support and guide co-creation needed to have effective change.

What are the visions you wish to create in this world?  What do have you to share? &  How can you do this in your community?

PiNZ Updates

Kia ora koutou – ngā mihi o te tau hou! As Puanga and Matariki guide us into a new year and we acknowledge those who now travel below the horizon, I hope this finds you and your whānau well and warm. As we settle into the cooler months, I’m sure many of you are slowing down and enjoying the shorter days and the abundance of seasons past.

In the PiNZ Council world, we are grateful for all the members who participated in the 2021 Special General Meeting, which has led to a number of constitutional changes. Your contributions and insights are invaluable, and the results can be found in the SGM Report that was sent to all members.

Meanwhile, system clean-ups are almost done – membership renewals are happening smoothly, all accounting has been transferred to Xero, and organisational memberships are ready to be launched at the Annual Hui in September. 

There is also a fair bit of work going on to support current and future PiNZ Councils to engage in Te Tiriti education and learn how to more deeply honour Te Tiriti in the work of PiNZ. Alongside, time is being invested in identifying training opportunities for Permaculture educators, to support permaculture workshops and courses that uphold Te Tiriti. 

The Annual Permaculture Hui is happening in Whanganui in September 2021, at Te Ao Hou Marae. I’m personally honoured to be working with amazing people on the ground here in Whanganui on this Hui, and I am excited for our community to once again come together kanohi ki te kanohi, to reconnect and re-energise.

Tenei te mihi nui ki koutou – stay warm. 

Dave Hursthouse
Permaculture in New Zealand

Special General Meeting

There was 5 proposal presented through Loomio to the PiNZ financial membership to view, talk over, comment on, and vote on over a period of a week back in May.

Thank you to Clare Wimmer and Dave Hursthouse, our 2 Co-Chairs, for formulating and hosting the special meeting. And for creating this booklet of the harvest. It is great to see the wealth of advice and range of perspectives shared over the varying sections of the work presented.

Visit our website by clicking on the report to view the great feedback we obtain from our SGM.


Feature Stories

Gen de Spa.jpg


Gen de Spa

Gen shares her permaculture connection to economics, and how this has led her to build conversations between eight farmers, 8 environmentalists and the topic of irrigation. Gen has spent many years in the social sector and activism and has a very grounded and practical way of addressing some of the systemic issues we collectively face. 

Thalia Tane

Te Roroa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi
Council Member at GEN 

Thalea has had a rich history of heart-led community development.  A  wahine with purpose and full of strong values that lead her to engage with others for action. Thalea shares her story of how permaculture and community have become the centre of her mahi.  



Dan Palmer

Is an activator, he sees niches and creates whole systems thinking to bring initiatives to life. He questions and starts important dialogue with people and invites them to join him to explore what arises. Passionate about the possible outcome that occurs and we do things a little different.


New Documentary Film Project

Reading Landscape with David Holmgren is the working title of a documentary film project on track for completion in early 2022 pictured above. The project is a collaboration between permaculture co-originator David Holmgren, NZ-based permaculture designer Dan Palmer, and filmmaker Dave Meagher. The project emerged from Dan's fascination with David's extraordinary capacity to unpack a landscape through direct observation. Featuring footage of David reading landscapes ranging from national parks, farms, botanical gardens, abandoned arboretums, and suburban backyards, the film aims to firmly establish the reading of landscape as a fundamental human skill and a core foundation of permaculture design. Click on the picture above to read more and view the film teaser and behind the scene photos.

Building Community Through Kai Sustainability.

Denise Bijoux hosts Julia Mill from Wellington, Heather Lyle from Auckland and Bailey Perryman in Christchurch to talk through the work they are doing within their community around growing kai in the community.

Through their stories of the community gardens, urban farming, and system-wide approaches to the challenges that are present in Aotearoa, the panellist explore the notions of how to feed each other, grow community and maintain involvement. They share their deep connection and beliefs that drive their intentions to be present in this work which leaves you inspired to action in helping this vital avenue of community support.

You can find this webinar with presentation slides, plus others, on the Inspiring Communities website

Letter to the Minister for Climate Change on the NDC

Lawyers for Climate Action NZ, wrote to the Minister for Climate Change, Hon James Shaw, regarding a significant error in the Climate Change Commission’s analysis on the updated NDC."

“We accept that the implications for Aotearoa New Zealand could be onerous and that this is in part because of the high level of forestry removals in 2010 relative to our gross carbon dioxide emissions. However, it is imperative that each country does its share and that we are robust and transparent about where we sit relative to the required global average reductions.” James Every-Palmer QC, LCANZI co-founder.

Read the correspondence here

The Socio-Ecological Learning Environment 

In the last edition, we featured the Socio-Ecological Learning Environment  fundraiser for Pīwakawaka Farm in Whanganui where they could create a living campus to offer courses that heal, inspire, and develop capacity for personal and collective resilience. In response to current crises of ecological decline and social injustice, offering educational experiences to enable communities to cooperatively adapt and thrive in an uncertain future.

It was a huge success and they manage to receive the third tier of their Crowd Funding Goal. Read more in their latest blog Crowd Funding Land Stewardship in Whanganui, which captures an overview of the journey that led to the land, those who made it possible and what now!

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Charles Eisenstein is running this online course again for those that missed it when he launched it a few years back.  

"This course is an induction into the habits and perceptions of the Gift. Everything is on the table: economic and social, psychological and relational, spiritual and cosmological . . . We will see the power that comes from developing the foundational understanding that life is a gift, that the world is a gift, and that the cosmos operates on the principles of gift."

Find out more by clicking on the picture 


Winter is definitely the time to review and look deep to find our inner guidance to find solutions from our past year. And, to vision forward to what the new year will bring as the days become lighter and lead us to the sprouting of spring and the birth of these two actions working to unite a prosperous outcome. I have been spending time in conversation over this last month with some intelligent thoughtful women who come from different avenues of life about our culture and the seasonal behaviours and patterns we hold and have grown up with. It is clear that there are a lot of cross overs with the activities we do during the year, though there are some very distinct differences too. 


We are currently in the time of Matariki, which will become a new public holiday for Aotearoa next year. This special and unique celebration has so much depth and understanding of the natural world at this time of year, which can be very different depending on where you are in New Zealand. So below is a series of photos and a brief overview with links to where you can find out more.


Professor Rangi Matamua is an associate professor at the University of Waikato, and his research fields include Māori astronomy and star lore, Māori culture, and Māori language development. He is a fifth-generation Māori astronomer on a mission to disseminate star lore left to him by his tīpuna Te Kōkau & Rāwiri Te Kōkau. 

Matariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars that is visible in our night sky at a specific time of the year. In June/July, Matariki will reappear in the dawn sky – signalling the start of the Māori New Year

Rangi Matamu talks about 3 aspects of Matariki, what the

The 1st is about acknowledging the people who had died since the last rising of Matariki. “It’s about remembering the ones who have passed and those who make us who we are.”

The 2nd element was celebrating the present and who is around us, he said. “That’s mostly with feasting – and celebration.”

The 3rd part was planning for the future – looking ahead at plans for the next season.

“It acknowledges the environment, it’s about unity, collectivity and sharing.”

9 Stars of Matariki: Matariki, Tupuārangi, Waipuna-ā-Rangi, Waitī, Tupuānuku, Ururangi, Waitā, Pōhutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-Rangi.

Each star holds a certain significance over our wellbeing and environment, as seen from the Māori view of the world.

Te Waka O Rangi, a canoe with Matariki at the front and Tautoru (Orion’s belt) at the back, captained by a star called Taramainuku. 

Te Kupenga a Taramainuku is the net of Taramainuku and every night the constellation is in the sky, Taramainuku casts his net down to earth to gather the souls of the people who died that day. He carries them along behind his waka during the year and takes them to the underworld when the constellation sets next to the sun in May. The constellation rises again in a month and Taramainuku releases the souls of the dead into the sky to become stars on the chest of the sky father, Ranginui. This is the origin of the saying ‘kua wheturangihia koe’/’you have now become a star’.

Maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar) literally means the turning of the moon. It marks the phases of the moon in a lunar month. A typical lunar month cycle lasts for 29.53 days. 

Rangi has been posting videos on the phases of the moon on the Living by the Star FB page

Te Tau Toru nui o Matariki is a three-year calendar system with Matariki at its heart (picture left). It is a new resource allowing people to learn the changing rhythms and sequence of the Matariki calendar over the next 3-years.

Check out Rangi Matmua new Matariki Te Whetū o te Tau vid that went live on Tuesday 27th

Matariki ki Runga

Te Tau Toru nui o Matarik

Living by the Stars

Te Reo Māori poster  

Maramataka environmental and behavioural effects chart

Move Over Astrology, it’s Time to Return to the Māori Lunar Calendar

Download the Lunar Calendar (ngā maramataka o te tau) 

Te Iwa o Matariki - The Nine Stars of Matariki

The Star Compass - Kapehu Whetu

Ngā maramataka o te tau - Lunar calendar 

In Celtic traditions, the Winter Solstice (also known as yule) was seen as a time of rebirth and renewal, as signified by the return of the light. The Celtic Midwinter is also known as Meán Geimhridh or Grianstad a Gheimhridh in Irish.

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “sun stands still” when the apparent movement of the sun’s path seems to stop briefly. But this doesn’t just occur for one day; in practice, we enter the darkest days of winter at the solstice but it takes several days – until the morning of 25 December, in fact – for the daylight to be perceptibly longer by just over a minute. - Celebrate the winter solstice to reclaim the festive spirit

Celebrating Winter Solstice and The Evergreens - Traditionally evergreens are brought into the house at the Solstice. Garden bushes can be pruned, or sensitive guerilla pruning is undertaken. Always remember to cut with respect for the plant and the land and to leave berries for the birds. Wreaths -  There is an old tradition of making wheels of evergreens, within which you anchor your hopes and dreams for the new cycle. Usually, Mistletoe, Holly, Ivy, Yew and Pine are used.


Propagating your Food Forest Sunday, July 4th 2021 - 28A Trafalgar Street TARANAKI

Mushroom, Pruning & Grafting Workshop Sunday July 11th 2021 -  Matakana Hall AUCKLAND

Introduction to Permaculture Weekend Workshop July 31 to August 1st 2021 - 971 Whitemans Valley Road WELLINGTON 

Introduction to Permaculture Saturday, July 31st 2021 - -35 Hassals Lane CHRISTCHURCH

Fruit Tree Pruning Sunday, August 1st 2021 - 28A Trafalgar Street TARANAKI

Ecological Building Workshop Sunday, August 15th 2021 -  AUCKLAND

National Permaculture Hui - September (dates TBC) - WHANGANUI

Residential Market Gardening Internship September 1st to May 31st 2022 - WHANGANUI

9th Annual Whanganui Permaculture weekend September 11th to 12th 2021 - WHANGANUI

Introduction to Permaculture Weekend September 18th to 19th 2021 -  28A Trafalgar Street TARANAKI

Permaculture Design Course (PDC) September 18th 2021 to August 22nd 2022 - 35 Hassals Lane CHRISTCHURCH

Golden Bay Sustainable Living Course September 20th to December 3rd 2021 - 24 Waitapu Road GOLDEN BAY

The River Valley Permaculture Design Certificate Course 16th to 31st October 2021 - River Valley Lodge 266 Mangahoata

Active Hope - Deep Ecology & Yoga Retreat 22nd to 25th October 2021 - 727 Birds Road, Takaka GOLDEN BAY

Becoming a Financial Member of Permaculture in New Zealand

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. Thank you for your consideration.

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 Hereyou can also update your details by login into your account through the website.

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?

To submit a story or content to the newsletter and website, please email

before 10th September 2021

There are also other ways to help out PiNZ, here are just a few volunteer needs PiNZ Council are calling out for, Though, if you have a skill and want to help permaculture grow in Aotearoa New Zealand, send us an email to

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