The Website of the
Eco-Village, and Cohousing
Assoc of New Zealand


Home Page Editorial Winter 2000

This year has seen some great academic research completed. Graham Meltzer from Brisbane has finished his PhD on cohousing and sustainability. This work provides a significantly new and important raison d'etre for groups of people to make changes in their settlement patterns. He documents a key connection between the formation of community and positive environmental outcomes. The Permaculture tenets of caring for people and caring for the earth coevolve. Also recently completed is a research project by myself on lessons and opportunities inherent in developing cohousing.

The eco-village sustainable land development handbook project is well underway now with Doug Craig, the EVCNZ rep, attending 2 meetings so far in Wellington. The draft handbook will shortly go out to local government consultation stage. This is essential to get council ownership, as the handbook will be of the design guideline format and will only be incorporated into council district plans voluntarily. Areas we felt needed tidying have now been addressed and the whole project is gaining momentum and wider acceptance. Parts of the Handbook on energy were work-shopped at the recent SEF (Sustainable Energy Forum) conference in Dunedin, and met a good response from energy researchers there. Other aspects of the document may also be workshopped. Expert reviewers have also been contacted, and the process of consultation, esp with tangata whenua is being addressed. The next draft is due out end of September. Any thoughts on useful case studies, or examples for waste water reuse please send to Doug .

St Benedicts Community Garden at Basque Park in Auckland has been threatened with closure and letters of support are welcomed. The Hobson Community Board met on 18 July and narrowly passed a motion to give the Community Gardeners 12 months to remove themselves from Basque Park. We think this is extremely short-sighted and unsustainable in the long term. The Community Gardeners are holding a rally at Basque Park Sunday 30 July 12 noon. All welcome- bring a poem, ribbon or something to mark the occasion. Ideas on how to overturn the Council's decision would be welcome.

Two new eco-village/cohousing projects in Australia are welcomed. Merri Cohousing has been a gestating project in Melbourne but has come to life. The other one is Rosneath Farm which is quite a largescale eco-village project. Rosneath Farm is located 3 hours south of perth in Western Australia.

Crystal Waters are hosting the the 3rd annual Communities Conference "Creating Vibrant Culture", 23-26 November this year. The key themes will be Community culture Eco-community and design Community economics. Contact

With Robin McCurdy back in NZ there is quite a bit happening at Earthcare Education in Nelson. They are holding among other things a three week long advanced course in Design for Sustainable Community, early in 2001 in Golden Bay. The course gives attention to balancing and integrating cultural/social/economic design with environmental/physical design. It aims to equip practitioners with the skills and knowledge to work effectively with neighbourhood-community, CO-housing, ecovillage and bioregional design.

A few final tidbits from my e-travels. For a break from the fastpace try WWOOFing . For the latest locally compiled international news on the water/wastewater scene try Water Magazine courtesy of Joel Cayford. Also his companion Eco-City Magazine...let your fingers do the walking.

Cyburbia have a comprehensive housing links page, and the Australian National Community Housing Forum is a wealth of info about local non-profit housing. The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada too. Scandavia, home of cohousing, has an advanced coop housing sector. Swedish Co-op housing as a tenure group represents about 25% of housing.

The MfE has a huge range of web resources now. For instance the entire 1997 State of the Environment report is online. Also we can now get NZ statute online at Knowledgebasket- a welcome relief. Or for zany creative ideas, how about the Globalideasbank.

Eco-villages or not, we arent going to make it without some radical changes to the ways we do business and economics. Hawken/Lovin's great recent book Natural Capitalism is online.

And finally dont forget GEN Oceania which produce a very readable quarterly newsletter on Eco-village news down under.

Till spring,
Peter Scott :-)


Building earth homes successfully on a commercial scale in NZ.



 Page maintained by Peter Scott, last update 20.7.00