Creating Ecovillages and Landbased Communities - Luminate Festival

Creating Ecovillages and Landbased Communities


Presenter: Robina McCurdy and Wiremu Grace
Suitable for: Adults only

We will ‘visit’ a diversity of communities around the world, and address some critical ‘how to’s’ e.g. how to build a community from where you are right now, how to gather together the right people, how to gather sufficient resources to start and how to avoid typical pitfalls.

This workshop will culminate with a description of a new 300 people ecovillage which Robina has been involved in for a few years.

Presenter Bio:

Robina is the founder of The Institute of Earthcare Education Aotearoa (, a Charitable Trust dedicated to sustainability education. She also pioneered the 32 year-old Tui Land Trust in Golden Bay, a residential farm community where she has her home. Robina works as a community development facilitator, permaculture educator, organic garden designer, and nature connection guide with more than 30 years experience behind her. She has taught and applied her powerful participatory processes for collective decision-making and action to households, neighbourhoods, schools, farms, eco villages and bioregions throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand as well as in 15 countries internationally. She has produced a range of practical teaching resources, including a Treecrop Species Compendium, a Home Garden Coaching guide, and a Community Facilitation manual called ‘Grounding Vision: Empowering Culture.’ In 2012, Robina initiated ‘The Localising Food Project,’ through which she is becoming a recognised documentary producer.

Wiremu was raised in a small Maori community beside the sea on the outskirts of Porirua city. This has been the foundation of his deep connection to the whenua and cultural practices of his people that have guided him throughout his life. The creativity and connection to the land he experienced as a child became the basis from which he created his career. In the early years he worked as a visual artist, a carver, dancer, an actor and a Kura kaupapa Māori teacher. He moved on to write children’s books, direct for radio,TV, film and stage. Wiremu began his directing career creating Māori online games, short films, education resources, numerous corporate videos and installations. Later he directed for Maori TV producing documentaries, corporate videos for Maori organisations, self funded on line documentaries.
Wiremu has shifted the focus of his work in more recent years to encompass his passion for healthy communities, permaculture, gardening and natural healing based on tikanga Maori. Drawing experience from the best practices of the past that aligning them with modern day systems with similar values. Wiremu is an avid supporter of Rangatiratanga in everyday life, earth connected education and initiatives that align with these kaupapa. He believes in fostering healthy relationships, resilience, connection and life enhancing practice. Wiremu is a surfer, a yoga teacher and lives in a Tiny House he built with friends.

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