Going for Council Again

Going for Council Again

Here is a little inside view to the PiNZ Councillors, what they have been doing this last year and what they get up to in life outside PiNZ.


Lillee Star

This year has been a big shift in the way the PiNZ council has operated. The reflections and adaptations we have all had to make have led to a slower pace of doing and a deep presence of being thoughtful, adaptive, questioning, believing and approaching things from different angles. This has led to movements happening in some areas and stillness in others. Our time management, health & wellbeing and priorities have been highlighted and we have taken the time to take the pressure and speed of ourselves. 

This is my 4th year (plus the extended 8 months) on the PiNZ Council, it has been a great learning journey and a deepening connection to permaculture has become a full-time profession. I feel huge gratitude to be involved with the growth of the permaculture and networks within Aotearoa. 

Over the last 20 months, I have continued the work on:

Maintaining documentation and job tasks through an online project management tool.

Creating the quarterly newsletter

  • Website - Maintain engaging web presence - uploading stories, resources, newsletters, reports; Research and scoping the development on the website to support more functions and services; Updating & improving existing web pages; Created new pages and infrastructure to support organisational membership, affiliated teacher and mentor applications and profiles; Developing bioregional mapping profiles & contact pages; Working on issues with the CiviCRM system.
  • Membership - Create a welcome package, establish more benefits for individual, organisational affiliated teacher memberships; develop the process for membership through the website, ensure membership database is fully functional
  • PEG - Researching and working on ideas to develop stronger permaculture education presence in the community and the benefits PEG can provide educators and students; Improve PEG’s presence, services & functions through the website; And to engaging in a PiNZ/PEG working relationship to establish an action plan for outcomes.
  • Researching opportunities to diversify income streams. And our connection to other International Permaculture representatives.
  • Supporting (from afar this year) the Hui Team. Researching the potential of future Hui (national and local) to see how they can operate through the challenges we have faced the last 2 years with COVID cancellations and options for online presence.

If elected back on the PiNZ council for my 5th term I would continue to work in these areas as well working on succession system plans for these roles and tasks identified. 


What are we up to in our regular lives?

For me, my business took a higher priority and the growing connection with the local community. I am now in the 5th year of operations and our 3rd year-long PDC course where we visit multiple sites around Canterbury to learn from those living the topics the course covers. We are also working from a special site that has the potential to become a collaborative education and resilience centre for the local (and regional) community. It has become a base that can be used for permaculture and in the last 6 months we have created a teaching space in the bookable room and worked on getting the gardens and orchard back up and running after being neglected and overgrown for the last 4-5yrs.


Over the last year and a half, I have also been in school learning Rārunga, it’s been an amazing journey that I will be continuing next year into level 5. As well as this I have also been trying to build my own tiny house and become part of a working community in Ōtautahi.



Clare Wimmer

What is the status of your projects within PiNZ?

As treasurer, the accounting system has been transferred to Xero from Moneyworks GOLD by Cognito, which has been used for the past 6 years and will remain active as a backup system until 31 March 2022. The new Xero system will provide easy access to systems for reporting for the council and the finance subcommittee. The new treasurer will be supported to bring the system into fruition.

In relation to the newly created Finance Subcommittee, here’s an update on the various roles:

  • There is currently one applicant, Meg Buddle who has been accepted for the position of Funding Coordinator;

  • The roles of bookkeeper and accountant have been filled externally by Bizworx Chartered Accountants (a big shout out to them for their service and dedication to supporting PiNZ as a volunteer organisation!);

  • The role of treasurer will be available within the new forming council and

  • The position of Financial Policy Maker is currently open for applications.


As a councillor, my priority will be to support and resource PiNZ to formulate the organisational structure so that the council can transition from an operational group to one of governance. With this progression and efforts to dive more into making Permaculture stronger in New Zealand (Aotearoa), seeking input from PiNZ members to help to define its terms and add further value to humanity and earth.

If I am re-elected to council, my efforts will be focused on:

  • Upholding the PiNZ Living Strategy;

  • Networking permaculture bioregions through the PiNZ website for contacts and local events;

  • Strengthening our current partnerships with the Permaculture Educators Group, Organisational/Educational/Design members, and other Aotearoa Groups with a similar Kaupapa;

  • Facilitating the Integration of Te Tiriti education as an essential aspect of a PiNZ affiliated PDC. Explore an opportunity for a national PDC internship through work exchange with PiNZ affiliated teachers and permaculture education centres.

  • Hand over to the newly appointed treasurer, the financial processes to support the bookkeeper, accountant and reporting to council and charities commission

  • Facilitating the development and direction of the newly created Finance Subcommittee

What are we up to in our regular lives?

David Wimmer and I are walking the talk while leading the permaculture lifestyle here near Raglan. We have been supporting the transition to new ways for past and present interns here at La Finca Permaculture Property. 

The new intern is keen on market gardening, so we are passing on permaculture knowledge, practice and developing whanaungatanga. The pottery classes have been hugely successful this year, including clay hand building olla (student work below) and fermentations pots, and wheel throwing classes and family/friend groups just doing something new together, a mindful and creative activity. I am also getting busy with the design and fabrication of ollas to meet the increasing demand of keen permaculturists this gardening season! We hope to have our website up and running before the holidays. 

My tuakana-teina relationship with the Kai Oranga Whaingaroa Kaiako, Georgianne Crawford, has led to an opportunity for me to support the cohort’s learning environment as a guest facilitator for the permaculture section of their course. We acknowledge the value of ako by exploring the introduction to Permaculture, permaculture design and the intersection of Hua Parakore and Permaculture for fun and connection.

Finally, in relation to my role as a business manager with CLIMsystems, we are launching the new climate change adaptation and risk reports for the general market. The first one being the Property Climate Risk Report- Residential, which sets out robust, defensible and actionable information for residential property owners/tenants/investors to enhance their property’s climate resilience. But I’m most excited about the next phase of product development which will produce reports to support decision making for market gardeners, food forest gardeners and permaculture designers wanting insight into climate change adaptation.