Getting Started with Permaculture in New Zealand

There is an overwhelming abundance of information online about permaculture, but relatively little of it is directly connected to New Zealand. This page is an effort to collect local resources and to help New Zealanders get started on their permaculture adventure.

The strength (and weakness) of permaculture is that it is many things to many people. Ask any two people “what is permaculture?” and I can almost guarantee that you'll get two different answers. At its heart permaculture is design language based on an evolving set of ethics and principles which help us work in harmony with the natural systems of our world.

My favourite way to think of permaculture goes like this: if being indigenous means to be “of a place”, then permaculture is a toolkit which helps us (especially those of us who are no longer indigenous) begin to relearn what it means to be “of a place”.

You might also be interested in: Syntropic Agroforestry Resources (in English) or Regenerative Agriculture Resources for New Zealanders.

If you have found any resources which would be helpful for people trying to learn about permaculture, please send them to me and I'll add them below.

Official

  • Permaculture in New Zealand - PiNZ is the primary permaculture organisation in New Zealand. They organise the yearly hui, certify designers and manage a website which lists events
  • PiNZ on Facebook - A very active community, lots of chat and some technical permaculture discussion.

Associations

Community Groups

Teachers & Coaches

Holistic Management

Permaculture

Designers

Farm or Garden Tours

Seeds and Plants

  • [Hawkes Bay] Kahikatea Farm
  • [Hawkes Bay] Koanga
  • [Hawkes Bay] Setha's Seeds

Books

Books by New Zealanders or about New Zealand:

Because there are so few books specifically about New Zealand, below are the books I've read and recommend for beginners:

  • An Earth Users Guide to Permaculture - An Australian based book which walks you through the process of designing a property step by step. You can read through the entire book in an afternoon, though it will take longer if you do the exercises as intended.
  • At Home with Holistic Management - Holistic Management is the decision making framework that permaculture forgot to include. Originally designed to help farmers manage pastureland, this book focuses on how it can be used to help organise a family or run a small business.

Easy, inspiring reads:

  • Miraculous Abundance - Wonderful story of a French couple starting a permaculture farm. Easy and fun read but also lots of great ideas and practical thoughts on what it takes to make a commercial permaculture farm work.
  • Paradise Lot - An inspiring story of two American friends creating a permaculture paradise on a tenth of an acre.

Books I haven't read, but others often recommend for beginners:

  • Permaculture Design by Aranya - Focused on the design side of things, it's not going to teach you how to garden.
  • Gaia's Garden - Focuses primarily on teaching permaculture patterns and techniques using the garden as an example.
  • Permaculture: A Designers Manual - The canonical reference manual with more ideas than will ever fit in your brain. Totally worth browsing but get it from the library, it's expensive and dated.

Podcasts

There are only a couple permaculture podcasts by New Zealanders:

There is a growing collection of interviews with NZ practitioners on overseas podcasts:

If you are interested I also have a larger collection of interesting permaculture and farming related podcasts.


Videos

New Zealand based videos …

If you are interested I also have a larger collection of interesting permaculture and farming related videos.


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