The community had its beginnings in 1941 when a group of Christian Pacifists agreed to adopt a way of life based on co-operation. They wanted to demonstrate that this was a practical alternative to the competitive ways of normal society which are a major contributor to wars. One of the group contributed 30 acres of farmland and orchard and some of them moved there to live.
The community is situated about 50 km from Nelson and now has 208 ha, about half of which is flat land while the rest is rolling hills. Our main income comes from our dairy farm with its fat stock unit and the commercial orchard. Other businesses include a public garage, a very popular destination cafe, a hostel and an events centre.
Families and single people have their own homes. Children live with their parents and attend the local schools. Our aim is to have one shared lunch and one evening meal together each week. The population of members is about 19 adults plus 17 children, ranging in age from babies to 80 plus. We rent out our other houses and host woofers and other visitors as well, meaning that sometimes there are about 80 people living in the community.
All the community's assets are owned by a registered charitable trust. This means there are no privately owned vehicles and we share the use of two minibuses and four cars. Adult members share responsibility for the management of the Community. Most work on site. Decisions are arrived at by consensus at weekly business meetings. Major planning is done at the Annual General Meeting. All adults receive the same cash income with parents also having an allowance for each child or dependent. Income received by members who work outside the community or who are beneficiaries goes into the general account. All power, telephone charges (apart from tolls) and medical expenses are paid from the general fund.