NEW LAND OWNERSHIP MODEL: KOTARE VILLAGE, WAIROA, GISBOURNE
This is the latest newsletter I received from Kotare on March 29, 2012.
I can't remember fully the way they've organised land ownership off-hand... I think all the land is held in a Trust. Potential plot holders live on the land as a trial initially, then if there is consensus, the person/ family/ group buys a lease. Apparently the lease will be set at a manageable level so that a majority of people could afford a lease. The lease is for an area - 1/4 acre. There is much more land available for use by community members, but this will either be farmed collectively or individually by agreement. If a lease-holder wishes to sell, they will sell the lease only plus the added value of any developments the person/ group has made to their particular holding (the lease has little to do with the actual land value).
It sounds like an interesting, workable model. I may have gotten some of 'how the lease system works' a bit wrong... Ask me to write an orchestral score :P not read fine print on legal documents :-/ But the work that Bob has done is something of a precedent for NZ apparently (ie: of Trust ownership and individual lease), so is a model that solicitors and Estate Agents are undoubtedly still getting their head around. I have a feeling there will be many more of these communities/ villages around based on this ownership model in the next decade or two : ) It seems tremendously 'user friendly'. btw. I prefer the Anastasia model of 1 hectare land area. Why walk for miles to one's potato crop outside of the village, when you can actually have it at your back door ?? : )
"Throw your heart over the fence, and the rest will follow." Norman Vincent Peale
Common questions and concerns from people interested in becoming settlers here at Kotare Village... We answer these on our discussions page - check out the latest updates: Read More....
We're looking for individuals, couples, families and friends who support our vision and wish to be the change they want to see in the world!
Over the next few months we'll have monthly hui for people interested in becoming settlers here at Kotare Village.
We have also added a section that lists resources that we have found extrememely useful, and encourage you to explore them also.
This section includes books, online resources, blogs and websites that help you to understand the underlying philosophies that are shaping our village.
Recently we had a visit from one of three sons, who was checking us out, for a place for his Mum to 'retire' to. Probably not quite the right word, she sounds pretty active - however you know what I mean. After his visit, we had a lovely letter, and I thought I'd share it with you.
Yeah we really enjoyed our visit. It is a great spot and I think you have a fantastic vision..... Read More.
March news from Kotare Village
It has been a busy few weeks here at Kotare village, and despite having rain rain and more rain, things are progressing well.
Over the past fortnight a major highlight for us all has been all of us participating in a communication workshop with Jocelyn and Cameron. We're all committed to this way of understanding and communicating, which is known as Non Violent Communication. (NVC)
NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. What attracted us to these communication tools was a desire for increased understanding and empathy for each other, genuine connections, and a safe structure for conflict resolution.
We are all learning to use this method of communicating and have put it into practice, not only for our weekly meetings but also as individuals, in our work and within our families. It has been a pretty profoundly amazing experience for us all, and we're grateful for the guidance we've had from Jocelyn. I'm sure it will continue to be a learning curve, but we're into it!
Franzi, Taiamai and baby Elanor are great, and Emma and Dennis are shifting into the little cottage in preparation for the arrival of their baby in a few weeks.
Legal Documents and another great Hui
Bob is in his final leek of pulling together the legal structure for Kotare Village. Within days we will have it ready to sign up for leases. This will be a big moment.
Our hui last weekend was a good one and as a result of it we now have several people excited about joining us and in the process. Chester and Valerie are excited about moving here with their two girls, and we're also looking forward to welcoming Jil. They all have great skills to add to ours and we look forward to getting to know them better. We asked them to share the experience of their time here.
Chester writes: Given that part of the vision of the Kotare Village is to be a self-sustaining community far outside the sprawling reach of Auckland, my family and I had some time to discuss the unknown adventure we were about to embark on as we drove South toward our first Hui. Naturally we were excited, but also a bit nervous as we had no idea what to expect of the outcome from our eight-hour trip that naturally included a few stops along the way. As we finally reached Wairoa and then drove through Frasertown on our way to Kotare Road, the sun quickly sank in the Western sky and we were greeted with an early Autumn shower. “Looks like we’ll be setting up camp with the headlights,” I grimaced to Valery as we anxiously descended upon the farm. Once there we were greeted by Nicki who had popped her head out of her family’s 20-foot shipping container that serves as the family’s kitchen and lounge area, yet retains all the warmth of any home we’d ever peeked into.Read more....
Jil writes: I just want to tell you all at Kotare village how impressed I am with what you are doing there.
Attending the Hui on March the 10th showed me how the organisation works and how much work has already been done. It was good to learn more about the structures being put in place and to meet other interested visitors. I feel particularly positive about how the children are intergrated into daily life and how independent and contented they are. It was a real pleasure to supervise them at the creek (with mud wallow)!Read more...
The Koanga Institute is about to hold a Permaculture Design Course here, beginning April 7th. it's going to be a particularly memorable course with so many teachers around at that time. As well our main tutors; Bob Corker and Dan Palmer from Melbourne (Very Edible Gardens) and Kay Baxter, we also have Tim Barker, the Permaculture Research Institute farm manager from Australia here. He and Bob will be teaching a PDC together later in the year over in Australia. We have a last minute opportunity for one more student - please contact us asap if you're interested!
We're also looking forward to having Craig Mackintosh here with his family. Craig has developed the Global Permaculture network website, and is the PRI website editor and will be here to document the Community Land Trust and the Koanga Institute for the PRI and Global permaculture websites.
Australasian Permaculture Convergence
On top of all of that the Australasian Permaculture Convergence is happening in the middle of the PDC and we are going to take two days out so we can attend that event. Bob and I will be presenting sessions, and Daniel and Chris will be representing Kotare Village (along with others? ) so we'll be well represented for those of you attending who might like to talk to any of us.
Nicole Foss is one of the international guest speakers at the convergence and she has a lot to say about how she sees we need to take care of ourselves in the challenging times to come, and in particular how to keep our money safe. Investing in community is one of the very safest and most needed ways to help create a sustainable future. If you can't listen to her speak at the conference you might like to check out her website www.theautomaticearth.org.
After the Convergence in Turangi, Kotare Village will be hosting a tour, incorporating a talk by Kay Baxter about the Koanga Institute, and a presentation and evening discussion about our Community Land Trust. Monday 16th April 12pm - Tuesday 17th April, 9am, also including breakfast.
Finalising the land purchase
Finally and very importantly we are in the final stages of pulling together the rest of the money we need to be able to buy 3 of the 4 titles we are buying by the end of May. Buying these 3 titles will mean we have the right to buy the 4th block, the hill block, in 12 months time. If you are in anyway interested in becoming settler or investor, now is the time to contact us. We'd love to hear from you.
Community Land Trusts NZ. Come and Visit Us!
Are you interested in the possibility of joining us? We'd love to meet you and show you around. Our monthly hui are a great way to get to know us (and us you…) and for you to see the land and get a feel for the village community we're creating.Please contact us if you'd like to attend.
The 'Housing Cluster Plans' feel a little too claustrophobic for me personally. One may as well stay in town if you're still only going to have < 1000m2 (1/4 acre) for your allotment :-/ Oh well... every village will be different and have its own character : ) I do prefer the sound of 2.5 acres that Anastasia recommends. That gives you plenty of room for all your berries, fruit & nut trees, grassed areas to run around on, plenty of grazing for a milking goat... 1/4 acre just simply wouldn't be enough :-/
It would still be nice to have 'common land' I think... Walking spaces, bmx tracks for lively teenagers, sauna/ common bath house : ) & for larger plantations of nut, cedar and larger forest trees such as puriri that wood pigeons love, it would be great to have a 'rhododendron walk' or similar... depending on climate (rhodos. need cold winters), a 'village green', school, community hall, 'shops' for produce and craft exchange/ or village 'dollars' : ) an hypothecary/ herbalist, various arts and crafts studios for common use, eg: pottery wheel and kiln, textile and 'basket' weaving, painting, lead-light glassmanufacture, spinning, dying, blacksmith/ welding, carpentry shed... and so on. I think a lot of these resources could be shared : ) The community hall could have a roster of events through the week such as tai chi, yoga, ballet/ dance, various musical instrument tuition in adjoining small rooms, individual voice, choir, drama... I am really looking forward to going to these classes : ) Basically, it would be all be free... with members in the village simply sharing their talents and skills with other people. I'm really looking forward to running my music workshops in such conditions : )
... Then the 'Full Moon Drumming' nights would be really spectacular... coz everyone will have a pretty good idea of music improv. and how to create sound-scapes together, and how to really 'listen' to each other to create really wonderful organic flowing music that no-one ever knew existed before... but it 'just happens'... right 'off the cuff' ... so very cool : )
And the little kiddies would be brought up with making this tribal music together with others... then for that generation, it would just be very 'normal' to open up one's 'creative self' without embarrassment in front of other people. The thought gives me great delight : ) ... happy, carefree, flowing, creative, non-self conscious young people ... happy in Being. Wonderful thoughts. My little grandson needs a chisel and mallet... I can see him now carving out the traditional patterns of his heritage : ) (he's only aged 1 year at the moment) ... bone carving too : ) ... instrument making. Wow... So many possibilities when the financial burden falls away, as it is going to in the very near future : ) It's going to be a 'New Earth' indeed that we'll be living on. It makes me feel extremely happy : ) ... even if there will be no 'Marmite' [popular NZ yeast spread] for a while ; )