20 April 2022
So a quick update. There was a lot more interest in the Church Road property than we anticipated (with at least 6 parties bidding), and sadly we were not successful at the auction. More of an update to follow when we have recovered from the frenzy of preparation work this week.
23 March 2022
So we have some news, the property that inspired this project is now for sale by auction. This means that time is now of the essence. We have a strong initiating group who have been meeting twice a week for the last three months, as well as a very productive 3 day beach retreat together. We believe that we now have a solid foundation, and combined with a shiny new membership procedure just ratified, that if/when we are successful at the auction, that a new generation of passionate members can be on-boarded. The last Collab had 12 participants, many of which are in various stages of exploring membership. If this project might be for you, or if you just want to help in some supportive role, we invite you to talk to us about the process and about opportunities to get involved. As for the auction, there is now some pressure to demolish this building, our dream is to do the right thing by this wonderful old heritage building, (and the archeological site), and to bring it back to its former glory. Wish us luck on Wednesday!
20 February 2022
We have received amazing feedback about the boldness and timeliness of The Big House Project. Last weekend, despite minimal promotion, 20 or so people attended our first Orientation. We showed slides of European projects, talked a bit about the Collab Skills Course, and answered questions about the Project. The initiating group has now completed the pilot Collab, and we are finding that the course provides a powerful grounding for project participation. If such close living and working together are possible then its because we have consciousness around the barriers we each have to connection, and skills to manage boundaries, needs and clear communication. We invite you to join us, now, so together we can birth this project into existence.
28 January 2022
Housing coops are starting to gain attention in NZ. See Common Ground, The Society for Coop Housing NZ, The Housing Innovation Society, Forever Affordable Homes, and Closer for some pretty active advocacy. In the media department see here, here and here. Of course if you really want an insight into the support available for housing coops overseas, checkout Cooperatives UK or International Coop Alliance. NZ has a ways to go, but hey, somebody has to pave a path.
14 January 2022
The Vision Booklet, after much work by the group, is complete and available for download, and the project website is almost there. The initiating circle are meeting twice a week to work mostly on the outreach and legal areas. We do already have some promising leads on suitable properties, and this is keeping us focused. There is a fair bit of excitement now :)
20 December 2021
A group of six got together to explore other ways to get people back on the land, back into community. We were faced with the choice of brand new ecovillage developments (involving millions of dollars, lots of resource use, and years of development), or tiny house villages (maybe quicker if we were willing to tolerate unresolved regulatory complications). We sensed that there was another way, one that empowered us to take a more active part in the process of project development, and that actually focused on the essence of community. The penny finally dropped while watching this group of ordinary British folk go about setting up a housing coop from a retrofitted larger existing house. So watch this space, while we put our dream on paper.