Kumanu April 2023

Tēnā tātou katoa, greetings to you all, friends of the Wangapeka Educational Trust near and far! This is the last Kumanu I’m helping to co-author (thanks also to Dave Pooch!) as I step down from my role on the Board. It’s been an honour to write these reports as one way to bridge between our sangha and its Board of Trustees. Turning meeting minutes and scribbled notes into something readable and connected has provided me a good opportunity to tune into our community, its cycles and needs. The Māori word kumanu means “to cherish, tend carefully, foster”, which is the intention behind my writing. What a beautiful aspiration to put forward for whoever picks up these monthly reports. I hope this one finds you well and happy as we head decisively towards the cooler months. Yours, Elli <3

What’s been happening:

The kitchen at Wangapeka is registered (all commercial kitchens must be registered) with the Tasman District Council. The facilities and procedures must pass an annual inspection. Good news and a sigh of relief for our wonderful caretaker Tracy, who reports that we passed with flying colours. Thanks to all those people who have recorded fridge temperatures over the past twelve months.

Brooke Walker, quietly and efficiently in the background, has updated and improved some of our admin systems. Brooke has taken over the admin role from Amber, and has come up to speed really fast on a whole range of processes. Welcome again and thank you to Brooke, for taking on this challenge and working with our evolving team.

The Mirror Trust has given a $8,000 towards the cost of building an ablution block for the newly completed volunteer units. Big mihi to you, the Mirror Trust! This project will stay at the planning stage while the teacher’s cabin is still under construction.

What we are reckoning with:

Multi-facilitator Retreats (MFCs). As you may know, there are many retreats now on offer at the Wangapeka which are led by more than one person. We are blessed to live in an age ripe for collaboration, as the teachings flow through our community and friendships and are shared in the spirit of multiplicity. Mark Shrader has written an excellent document outlining what MFCs are and how the Centre can best support them. Please keep your eyes on the community forum for a version of this document which will be shared for consultation in due course.

Course refunds have been a head-scratchy issue for a while and Covid aggravated that. It was decided to continue with the $100 deposit for courses and if a cancellation was made within one week of the course starting, then this would be the only money forfeited. If the cancellation was due to sickness or Covid, the $100 deposit would also be refunded. The two sides of the discussion were: we don’t want sick people coming to Wangapeka and risk spreading an illness, but we don’t want people making late cancellations as that prevents someone else from coming to a fully booked course. Basically, we rely on people’s honesty. Please be honest and remember: we are not making a profit. Decisions are made based on need. Thanks to Brooke for dealing with this grey area.

Talking about illnesses, the Board policy on Covid has often moved along with the country’s policies. The current, more lenient policy will be put on the website and course application forms. Please see the website for updates.

Who pays what? There is an ongoing discussion to tabulate what everyone pays or doesn’t have to pay at Wangapeka. Sounds simple but there are lots of categories. Based on a helpful document written by Mark Schrader, we aim to discuss at the next board meeting and publicise the results in the interests of transparency.

Invitations to submit proposals has gone out. Please send your request so that it is received by May 31.  Here are more details. Depending on how the Year of Service idea develops, restrictions on maximum participants may be introduced. See Newsphere articles for updates on how the Year of Service idea is morphing, changing and shaping our thinking about 2024 and beyond.

What we need help with:

Join the board:
As mentioned, Elli Yates is stepping away from the Board as of this month. Her other work responsibilities and caring for young Sol need to come first at this time. Dan Burgess-Milne will be taking her place as Comms liaison. Many thanks and welcome Dan into this space! We are on the lookout for new Board members. If you are interested in joining our crew before the AGM (when the Board will be reconfigured), you are VERY welcome, so please get in touch with our secretary.

Annual Hui and AGM:
Our annual hui and AGM is scheduled for the weekend 21-23rd July. For the last many years, members of the community have stepped forward to coordinate and facilitate a community conversation centred around a theme that feels relevant to the Wangapeka community as a whole. If anybody feels inspired to organise this, please contact Dan at Danburgessmilne@gmail.com

Open day:
Wangapeka has had some successful open days in the past. These are precious opportunities to connect with and grow our community, share and learn from friends and newcomers about the purpose and history of our beautiful Centre. We hope to hold one this year and are looking for someone to coordinate it. If you’re interested please email the wonderful Brooke Walker at

Teachers Cabin:
Thanks to the many beings for the effort in working and also picturing the regular updates of progress on the building of the teacher’s cabin, which is coming along speedily under the direction of chief builder, Glenn. May the flow of generosity continue! Glenn would appreciate any help with construction. Please contact Glenn at
harleybuilders1@gmail.com if you or someone you know is interested.

Working bee at CCR:
The Centre of Contemplative Research folk have been chatting with Dan Burgess-Milne. They are interested in co-operating with Wangapeka and subsidising a six month meditation retreat while their own land in Murchison is being developed. In May/ June CCR is organising a working bee weekend on their land just north of Murchison. We will be planting trees to help manage erosion on the land. If you are interested in supporting and being a part of this, please contact Dan at danburgessmilne@gmail.com

People to contact:

Here is a list of the team at the moment. The best person to get in touch with for general inquiries or to respond to a call out from Kumanu is Tim, your faithful secretary. You can see the sub-committees and areas we are associated with in brackets next to each name.