Kumanu September 2023

By Dan Burgess-Milne

Hello Wangapeka Community

Apologies for a long delay between Kumanus. There was a little miscommunication, as I was waiting on some information that had already gone out. This Kumanu will cover from September until now (November).

On the weekend of September 1–3 we had our BOT weekend at Wangapeka. This was an opportunity to connect and orient together as the new Board.

Many people from various subcommittees joined us in conversation, which was a wonderful way to set in motion the new board. Lots of enthusiasm and ideas await! Thanks to Dave for his efforts in coordinating this weekend, and thanks to Rose, our volunteer cook who cooked us delicious meals over the weekend.

Minutes and reports:

Treasurers Report

Programmes Committee report

Land Caretaker Report

Office Caretaker report

Centre caretaker report

What’s been happening:

Tracy continues as centre caretaker

The board has wholeheartedly accepted to renew Tracy’s contract as our centre caretaker for a further 12 months.

Tracy has been doing a wonderful job, and since reaching pension age, she has offered to reduce her formal hours, and to dedicate more of her time as Dana to participate in land care work and maintenance.

This feels like a beautiful act of service to the community and we are deeply grateful for this compassionate offer.

She is currently taking some time off and Jacinta has stepped up to look after the centre in her absence.

New accommodation at the centre
– The teachers’ dwelling has been progressing well, with many people working hard on the project.
– The board has purchased an ablution block to service the new volunteer accommodation.
– Tracy’s caravan has been made available as accommodation and is now parked near the water tanks.

Year of Service – Service as the Path

It is exciting to see a range of proposals coming forth and evolving the ‘Year of Service’ idea into its next stages – Service as the Path. The board has been enthusiastically discussing a proposal from Mark and Kath to live on site for 6 months in 2024 to support a community of practice on the land. Here is a link to their proposal if you want to know more or be involved.

Clever solutions

The ever-impressive Simon in his role as land caretaker has devised an ingenious system that monitors our water supply, and turns a light on at the caretakers residence if something is out of order. Clever solutions like this help to make the workload on the land more manageable.

New Board positions and sub-committee representatives

The new board constellation has been decided upon, with Dave becoming Coordinator, Simon continuing as Treasurer, Dan as Secretary, and Georgia as Assistant Coordinator.

We also welcome Georgia as board rep to the Programmes subcommittee, and Michael as board rep for the Health and Safety subcommittee.

We have created a new subcommittee for focusing on our 50th anniversary. Please contact Dave if you’d like to be involved: coordinator.wangapeka@gmail.com

What we are reckoning with:

Category 2 retreats

We have a strange distinction behind the scenes between ‘category 1’ (Lineage) and ‘category 2’ (non lineage) retreats. The differing nature of how various groups run courses at the centre produces some administrational complications. We are currently working on finding a smoother process for this. This comes on the back of a hefty piece of work largely helmed by Cashy to develop a ‘Who Pays What’ matrix to streamline and make sense of our processes.

We are thankful to Brooke and Tracy for the work they do managing these retreats.

What we need help with:

Thoughts and ideas

The board is always excited to hear thoughts and ideas from the community as to what can best support the centre to thrive. Please contact us if there’s anything you’ve been thinking about.

50th anniversary

We now have a group of people that are enthusiastic to take this conversation further. There is always space for more input. Please contact Dave if you’d like to be involved: coordinator.wangapeka@gmail.com

Board Opinion Piece:

We have decided to add a new section to the Kumanu, which is an opinion piece from one of the board members. This allows us to be a little more subjective in our sharings from the board, and may possibly spark some dialogue with the community. This Kumanu opinion piece is written by Simon.

Its hard to believe I’ve been on the Board for a whole year already. The previous Board finished at the AGM in July and a new Board was elected.

Many thanks go to the outgoing Coordinator Cashy Yates who did a wonderful job of guiding us through the year. Also many thanks to Tim Leyland who was our Secretary for 6 years.

After 12 Months on the Board I realise how vitally important the Board is in keeping Wangapeka going. Most of our work comes from staff needing decisions on significant issues.

And the Board is happy to take on those decisions.

The Wangapeka Governance is an unusual set up. We have sometimes two live in caretakers and two admin people working off-site. These four are paid positions and so the Board holds the legal and care responsibilities for these staff.

Whilst two are employed as contractors, the Board still needs to be concerned about their ongoing welfare.

Each of these four staff have specialised jobs. An organisation will often have a CEO to whom these staff would report, however Wangapeka has purposely chosen to use a collaborative approach to organisation.

We currently have five Board Members but would love to have more. The Board can adopt a new board member on at any time so if your interested in joining please be in touch. You don’t need to be a regular retreatant to be on the Board.

We meet via Zoom and so you can be a Board member from any location in the Country. Please do consider it, I have found it a very rewarding service to Wangapeka.

Support the Centre:

There are always lots of interesting jobs to do at the centre that can be allocated to meet your skills and energy levels. A free lift is available up on a Tuesday and Back on a wednesday. Contact simon@jals.co.nz to discuss jobs and pick up.

People to Contact

Board Of Trustees
Name Role Contact
Simon Jones Treasurer treasurer.wangapeka@gmail.com
Dave Pooch Coordinator coordinator.wangapeka@gmail.com
Dan Burgess-Milne Secretary danburgessmilne@gmail.com
Georgia McCrory-Bowick Assistant Coordinator georgiambowick@gmail.com
Michael Mackinnon Member michael.mackinnon.55@gmail.com

Caretaking team
Name Role Contact
Tracy Abbot Centre Caretaker centrecaretaker.wangapeka@gmail.com
Brooke Walker Office Caretaker wangapekacentre@gmail.com
Simon Jones


land caretaker


Committee Contact
Programmes Karen Harley – waihoraorganics8@gmail.com
Communications wanga.comms@gmail.com
Maintenance treasurer.wangapeka@gmail.com
Fundraising georgiambowick@gmail.com
Finance treasurer.wangapeka@gmail.com
Health and safety michael.mackinnon.55@gmail.com
50th Anniversary coordinator.wangapeka@gmail.com
Constitution michael.mackinnon.55@gmail.com