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 Cost 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 livity is Rastafari, politics are green and describes himself as a ‘social ecologist’ - recognising that our relationships with nature and 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 civilisation that is truly homeotelic – that is, which maintains and enhances the integrity of life on this planet. His particular interest is in applying permaculture to business design and to community/economic development.

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



Sean Murphy



Sean is originall 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 of the land’ in Mozambique.

A friend who had completed a PDC gave him Bill Mollisons Big Black Book and that sparked his Pemaculture 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 principals 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 caring 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 where. 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, Waimarama 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.



Guenther Andraschko



Guenther was born in Vienna, Austria moving to NZ in his early 20's drawn by a sense of adventure and NZ's nuclear free policy,  due to the aftermath of the nuclear accident in Chernobyl.

Guenther has been on his permaculture journey since the late 1980's, living on lifestyle properties with strong local community connections. In 1991 he bought a 17 acre property where he designed and set up a self-sufficient lifestyle utilising permaculture principles with input from permaculture designers Yvonne Steineman and Joe Polaischer.  He was drawn to enrol in a PDC to formalise his permaculture experience attending one in 2009 at the Koanga Institute, led by Dan Palmer and Kay Baxter.

Guenther currently lives with his partner on a bush property in West Auckland and runs his own landscape and permaculture design company. He holds over 25 years’ experience in creating unique outdoor spaces throughout New Zealand, Australia, Austria and the USA.  He has worked with a wide range of clients including regional Councils, schools, not-for-profits and community groups.

Guenther is also a workshop facilitator beginning in 2003, working with many groups including local community, schools, teenager and men’s groups. With his background in earthbuilding he has facilitated numerous ‘hands on’ earthbuilding and Appropriate Technology building workshops.

Being alongside like-minded thinkers and doers is what Guenther loves; he is keen to help the PINZ Council make permaculture stronger and more accessible in New Zealand. 



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

Communications/Bioregional Liason


Robina’s passion is to to bring about significant change in the lives of people, communities and the environment through community development, permaculture design, education, organic growing, 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.



Louise Shaw

Communications/Bioregional Liason



Louise grew up west of Putuaki on the shores of Lake Rotoma exploring the bush and lake, hunting, swimming, fishing, kayaking, camping out, making stuff in the shed, and eating from home orchards.

More recently on family land in the foothills next to the Whakatane river Louise and her partner Peter are building an abundant creative livingscape, which they share with their three children (18, 16 and 13),other family members, friends and an increasing number of WWOOFers. Louise is a trained primary school teacher who specialises in science and outdoor education as a vehicle for experiential learning. She is lucky enough to have worked all over the eastern bay on a broad range of projects as a teacher and an environmental educator.

Louise completed her PDC with Jeff and Nadia Lawton, Kay Baxter, Bob Corker, and Trish Allen in Whitianga Bay in 2007 where she discovered a great group of passionate friends who thought in a similar way and introduced her to the wider Permaculture New Zealand group which is now a very important part of her and her family’s lives.

She has trained as an Enviroschools facilitator, holds an Organic Agriculture certificate through Telford and has Course 3 Playcentre training. Though she believes her most important qualification is the time she has allowed herself to explore wild landscapes, learning to read the environment (natural, built and social) and using these observations, imaginings and conversations to design through all aspects of her life.

Louise joined the PiNZ council as she see’s Permaculture as an important vehicle for change in New Zealand. She brings positive energy, strengthening and celebrating the diversity of the Permaculture community in Aotearoa. 



Lillee Star


Fundraising/Communications/Bioregional Liason


Lillee considers herself a naturalist and an activist in the realm of creating change. She is artistic and likes practical hands on roles. The work she does in permaculture provides her with the tools and community to create effective action. She deeply care’s for our living Earth, and believes in being part of the social and cultural care and change to allow the balance of humanity to live in harmony with our planet.

Lillee started her permaculture journey in 2001 with a 92hr accredited PDC course in the UK. This was a big turning point in her life which has eventually lead her to New Zealand after visiting and experiencing different permaculture properties around the world as she travelled to New Zealand 7 years ago.

Over the last 5 years Lillee had been living on a small off the grid home in Canterbury, Banks Peninsula where she helped develop a small plot of land into a food production garden and peaceful home in nature.  Lillee was a Permaculture Consultant of the Food Resilience Network in Christchurch, as well as a co-designer and member of the project development team for the Otakaro Orchard in the CBD.

Lillee is currently the Store Manager, Director and a Shareholder of the Harbour Co-op; an organic whole food store owned by 213 Community members. Recently she has also become a Director with 3 others of the Canterbury Permaculture Institute bringing permaculture related education and training to the local community.

Lillee became a PiNZ member in 2014 when volunteering for the National Hui in Wellington then co-hosted the National Hui in Christchurch the following year. Lillee is happy to be a part of the new PINZ Council to co-create and make Permaculture stronger in New Zealand.