Council Members

Nandor Tanczos



Nandor has been a businessman and a beggar, a legislator, and an outlaw; he now works as an educator, District Councillor, and celebrant.

A friend of Nandor’s did a Permaculture Design Certificate at Tiketike on the East Coast in 1991, when he came back raving about it Nandor read the Designers Manual and booked in for a 3-week residential course at Taheke Tree Farm in Northland with Miriam and Jim Tyler. What was so powerful about this PDC for him was the way it gave a coherent framework to things he already thought and felt.

Until recently Nandor lived in a house bus with his wife and two children where they were set up with solar panels, compost toilet, and hinge-top upstairs bedroom. It was a small space but the beautiful places they got to park up more than compensated. Now they live in a house in Whakatane, which they are slowly retrofitting as a permaculture property.

Nandor’s levity is Rastafari, politics are green and describes himself as a 'social ecologist' - recognising that our relationships with other people are two sides of the same coin.

Nandor considers permaculture design principles the most promising approach to rebuilding a human civilastion that is truly homeotelic - that is, which maintains and enhances the integrity of life on the planet. His particular interest is in applying permaculture to business design community/economic develo[pment.

Nandor has been a member of the PiNZ Council since 2012 and Chair since 2014.



Sean Murphy



Sean is originally from Cape Town, South Africa. At age 21 he moved to London and worked in the field of advertising. During this time he travelled 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 Mollisons 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.


Alandra Bryant

Secretary/Membership Secretary


Alandra grew up in the New Zealand outdoors witnessing nature. She believes Permaculture holds the necessary ethics and principles to guide our human species to evolve. She recently attended an Evening with Jane Goodall who represents her own belief that all life is equal so should be treated with compassion and respect. 

Alandra’s path includes fundraising for charities, Public Servant, Landlord, Business developer, skydiver, and traveller. She experienced the awesome and humbling power of Mother Earth from the 5th floor during the Christchurch Earthquakes. As a backpacking Helper, she extensively experienced communes, self-sufficiency and autonomous homes across NZ, Australia, Europe, and America. She volunteered to care for Rescued Elephants at Wildlife Friends of Thailand and was a Mum to orphaned wombats at a wildlife refuge in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

Alandra attended her first modular PDC in Dandenong Ranges Melbourne 2015 and found the logical understanding of patterns in nature required to develop solutions to human-caused environmental problems. Recently returning home to live in New Zealand she attended her second, this time Residential, PDC at Tui Community which introduced her to Deep Ecology and Social Permaculture. The Permaculture Teachers Training in April 2017 broadened her understanding and prepared her to begin facilitating towards developing Permaculture in New Zealand.

Alandra’s current volunteering projects include Kai Rescue, Community Gardens, Ecological Restoration, SPCA, and from May 2017 the Secretary Role for PINZ Council. She brings enthusiasm and commitment to support the team to make Permaculture stronger in New Zealand.

 "Whatungarongaro te tangata tout te whenua"




James Andrews

Communications/Bioregional Liason


James 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 polytech 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 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.




Robina McCurdy

Newsletter/Communications/Bioregional Liason


Robina’s passion is 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.



Lillee Star

Newsletter/Bioregional Liason/Fundraising


Permaculture landed in Lillee’s life with a sudden surprise at age 23, it made so much sense and filled her with excitement for the possibilities of a balanced relationship with Gaia. This led her on many pathways around the world and onto Aotearoa, where she met others who shared a deep sense of love and care for the Earth as a living entity. The land, the people, and the Spirit have all captivated her and she reflects that Aotearoa has become her rock, the foundation of her life.

2014 Lillee joined the NZ permaculture crew at the Hui held in Wellington since then she hasn’t missed the yearly event. The following year Lillee led the hosting team in Christchurch, and become PiNZ Councilor in 2017 taking on newsletter editing, bioregional co-ordinator and fundraising roles alongside others council members.

Currently a director & shareholder of 2 businesses… Canterbury Permaculture Institute: education, design and consultancy support for the local community; to aid the expansion of relevant permaculture information for an evolving earthquake-affected city, a position held with 2 other partners... The Harbour Co-op: an organic whole food store owned by 217 members of the community which supports the growth of organic, local CSA, and food sovereignty movements.

Recent positions held… Store & business development manager for the Harbour Co-op; Permaculture consultant in the creation of the Food Resilience Network. Co-designer and project consultant to Otakaro Orchard - a community foodforest garden and hub for the FRN in CBD Christchurch. Land carer of a small off-the-grid house & food production plot. And chicken mother.

Permaculture and the relationship of people within are the main focus for Lillee’s future work. She is passionate about art, nature, and the harmonics of space, together with their practical uses. Lillee works creatively to find the balance of all elements involved and enjoys the challenge/adventure of being interconnected in right relationship with her surroundings.


David Hursthouse 


Dave Hursthouse is a Waiheke Island based Ecological Designer, Facilitator, and Educator. He brings a critical, revolutionary eye to all that he engages with and is resolutely committed to improving senescent human systems via wholesome processes of design. Dave is enthusiastically focused on sowing the seeds of passion and courage among those world-shakers and world-makers dedicated to developing human systems more in tune with wider ecological patterns. He is passionate about transformative learning, forest ecologies, systemic patterns, critical theory, design philosophy, design process and radically creative change-making. Dave considers the Permaculture Movement to be one of the most potential-laden social movements of all time and is determined to see that potential acted on all around the world with humility, authenticity, and integrity.

Dave studied human systems at Otago University exploring political science, anthropology, sociology, economics, political philosophy and global food systems. He completed his PDC at Te Moata with Trish Allen and Daniel Tohill in 2014. He has been involved with that course for four years. He has since completed his Permaculture Teacher Training with Finn Mackesy, Dan Palmer, and Robina McCurdy. Dave has taught PDC’s with Earthcare Education and was involved in Permaculture education with Aranya Agricultural Alternatives in India. Dave led the Agriculture Team at IPCIndia 2017, spent two years coordinating the 1acre Papamoa Community Garden, has facilitated the co-design of a number of community projects, and is an active participant in Making Permaculture Stronger. His passions lie in forest systems and social dynamics, employing an awareness of both in dynamic group facilitation.