Permaculture Hui

Hui: (n – Maori) meeting, gathering

Sorry for the lack in posts lately. This week has been pretty busy between moving out of Liz’s house back into the house truck and getting ready for our big trips. I’ll take a few minutes to update you about the Permaculture Hui last week.

Permaculture in New Zealand holds a national hui once a year. This year it was held on a marae (kind of a Maori church) in Te Toko. We had mixed expectations because a lot of NZ events seem to be organized very last minute, but since David Holmgren was going to be there we decided to head over. It was also a good chance for me to see the east coast and to meet some of the friends Nelson met when he first arrived in NZ. We drove across the center of the country with Phil, Sequoia, and Bern and another Raglan-ite Simon. Our route took us straight through Rotorua, very stinky town full of hot springs, and an even stinkier town full of paper mills.

When we arrived we found that the weekend was going to be run using open-space technology. Nelson and I are still unsure about why this technique is called a “technology”, but the concept is interesting, if unorganized. There was a very loose schedule when we arrived, but a few hours later here is what the schedule looked like after everyone had put their two cents in.
We got to hear David Holmgren and Hakai Tane speak. And got to hang out with tons of friends. It seems like everyone we knew in NZ was there. Here is David doing a site survey and Nelson with Poihaere.

After the Hui we stayed in Whakatane for a few days with Peter and Louise, who have a gorgeous house, very sustainable house, and were also hosting our friends Tanja and Florian from Wanganui. Their kids kept us entertained.

Here are some pics of their house. They raise three kids using less than 1 kilowatt hour per day with an outdoor composting toilet and an outdoor bath. They are my idols.