Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
Atamai Village: Atamai Village near Motueka in the Tasman region of New Zealand's South Island, has been going since about 2007. The development was designed as an enduring settlement to accommodate approximately 200 people, living in a traditional village environment designed along permaculture principles. Families were to own private dwellings and share in 45 ha of common land. They never got to own any of the common land. Transport in the village was be by bicycle, but everyone drove cars. Resources such as water, waste management, fuel, energy and food were be have been produced and provided within the village wherever possible. This idea failed. The entire village, as well as individual house sites, was supposed to have been designed on permaculture principles to enhance both the physical and social resilience of the Atamai community. This never happened. The so-called village never actually materialised. It has been an abject failure, with only a few permanent residents. Several people purchased land within the development and then, realising their mistake, tried to put their land on the market. But there was no market, because the trustees of the property development insisted on covenants being placed on titles and those covenants acted as a deterrent to any would-be purchaser who didn't want to be part of the development. The development site is now a mass of mud and excavations with a few unattractive buildings dotted around. The area is festooned with real estate agents' "for sale" notices. The death knell of the whole venture was sounded when the founding trustee fled New Zealand to avoid his creditors, the Inland Revenue and various banks. He was bankrupt, Owing well in excess of NZ$1 million. The venture, throughout its existence, attracted the attention of the New Zealand authorities , including the Charities Commission (which revoked its charitable status, the Financial Markets Authority and local regulatory bodies. Although it was advertised as an eco-village, the excavations and constructions were carried out at enormous environmental cost, using diesel fuelled heavy excavating equipment. It was never what it was advertised to be. It had all the features of an old-fashioned commune, led by a self-styled guru, whose belief system focused on Peak oil and the end of the world as we know it. The discredited notion of millennialism, reinforced by the American-style "end of the world prepper" activities were, in reality at the heart of this failed venture. Its failure was the subject of numerous articles in the local and regional newspaper, the Nelson Mail. 
Local sustainability initiatives
Please see our local or city pages via the New Zealand category, where of course you can share any more information you may have about local sustainability initiatives.
Initiatives by topic
Arts, sport and culture
Government website: Climate change information
Government website: Water quality
Ooooby. Social network. Ooooby stands for Out of our own back yards.
Kai Rakau Project: Establishing a large collection of mainly fruit and nut bearing trees for the purpose of education, protection and heritage. facebook page
Food waste in New Zealand W
Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle
eDay (Wikipedia), annual New Zealand initiative, started by Computer Access New Zealand (CANZ), aimed to raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with electronic waste and to offer the opportunity for such waste to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Sustainable transport activism
News and comment
May 30 New Zealand 'wellbeing' budget promises billions to care for most vulnerable 
New Zealand bans all new offshore oil exploration as part of 'carbon-neutral future', Apr 12 
Virtual power station hailed as 'a game-changer', Dec 1 
New Zealand gives Mount Taranaki same legal rights as a person, Dec 22 
New Zealand creates special refugee visa for Pacific islanders affected by climate change, Dec 9 
New Zealand Aims to Transition to 100% Renewables by 2035, Nov 7 
New Zealand Government to Plant 100 Million Trees Yearly, Oct 24 
New Zealand river granted same legal rights as human being, Mar 16 
New Zealand will ban plastic microbeads by 2018, Mar 14 
New Zealand Set To Emerge As Global Leader In Renewables & Smart Energy Systems, Says IEA, Feb 21 
Why New Zealand is granting a river the same rights as a citizen, Sep 6 
New homes pre-wired for solar power, batteries and electric car charging, Feb 19 
People will soon be able to recycle plastic bags at major supermarkets and stores, November 25 
Sarah vs the State: Government’s climate targets ‘illegal, unreasonable, irrational’, November 12 
New 135km trail highlights biodiversity, October 3 
New Zealand to turn Kermadec into vast marine reserve, September 29 
Mapping the Transition Movement in Aotearoa New Zealand, January 12 
Dunedin announces that it will divest from fossil fuels, May 13 
Pedestrians given priority in Christchurch transport revamp,  November 15
New currency in town,  September 17
New Zealand to be the main host for UN World Environment Day (2008) with the slogan Kick the C02 Habit,  December 12. "Our plan to become climate neutral involves a goal of generating 90 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and halving our per capita transport emissions by 2040 by introducing electric cars and a requirement to use bio fuels. To incentivise climate-friendly behaviour we're introducing an emissions trading scheme, which includes all sectors and all gases," David Parker Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues
South Pacific to be protected from destructive fishing,  May 16
New Zealand Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons unveils "the best and most equitable way of addressing the contentious issue of putting a price on carbon." Kicking the carbon habit, March 26 
Beehive News Feeds, government, feeds include: Environment and Climate change issues
March 29 - 30 Neighbours Day Aotearoa
September 8-15 Conservation Week
The Commons, Christchurch
River granted full rights of legal personhood
In March 2017, the New Zealand Parliament passed the "Te Awa Tupua" (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill to provision the full rights of personhood upon the Whanganui river. This landmark legislation was 140 years in the making, as the Whanganui iwi tribe had campaigned for the river to be recognised as a living entity with legal rights since the 1870s. With this new designation, if the river is harmed or contaminated it will result in the same penalties and legal ramifications as if damage or injury had been done to the tribe or any of its members, because it is now recognized as being one and the same.
Guardians from both the Whanganui iwi and the New Zealand government have been appointed to act on behalf of the river, which will be legally represented by two lawyers, and treated like a charitable trust. The legislation also provisions $80 million New Zealand dollars ($56 million) as reparations to the iwi and NZ$30 million ($21 million) toward a legal defense fund, and NZ$1 million ($700,000) to form the necessary legal framework.
Local communities in New Zealand
Wikipedia: New Zealand, Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand, Environment of New Zealand, Sustainability in New Zealand, Timeline of the New Zealand environment, Deforestation in New Zealand