An Idea for the (ageing) Wangapeka Community by Christine Gisby

An Idea for the Wangapeka Community:

Don’t know about you but as I age I can see a time when I can’t drag that gas bottle across the paddock any longer and it is getting harder to dig over the garden. Having witnessed my mum (97) living her last years in a Retirement Village with hundreds of other elderly and numerous caregivers gives me pause for thought.

Some Questions:

  1. How do we see ourselves living in 5 or 10 years’ time?
  2. As we age are there thoughts of “down-sizing” and what does that look like?
  3. If we don’t have that family member who is going to look after us or we don’t want that, what do we see as an alternative?

When I ask myself those questions then one thing is very clear to me. I would like to be surrounded by folk that understand mindfulness, dharma and have a daily practice. I would like to have a sense of participation not just one of existence with this ageing body.


A group of people create an environment with a mixture of family housing and studios for elderlywithin beautiful native forest walkways, herb and vegetable gardens. Oh…and a pond with a Buddha nestled in the tranquil waters surrounded by lily pads…oh but I digress!

The Practical: (An example only as this could take many different forms.)

A Trust is formed.

People buy into the Trust. E.g. $250,000 x 6 people = $1,500,000.

This buys the land (2 – 3 acres) and builds the main communal room with kitchen, dining and 8 studio apartments. (These are all connected so one building and one resource consent.)

A couple of those studios are rentals. (a buy-in of $10,000 which goes into a separate fund for maintenance) The rental income per week pays for rates and insurance.

On the land are other separate cottages (owners cost) for families or those wanting more separation.

Two caretakers create their own space with Tiny House or Cottage where they have access to the land to grow their own organic income. In return they work for the community for x amount of hours per week and take care of some maintenance and food prep if necessary.

There are various Co-Housing ideas existing or wanting to exist throughout the country so there are models to go by and people to talk to.

My purpose is to garner interest and form a group to take this ‘thinking’ and flesh it out.

It could be anywhere in the country. There are many forms it could take.

If this excites you then I would love you to get in touch.

Sarva Mangalam.
Christine Gisby


Photo Credit: Arm in Arm – Unsplash