Kumanu Wangapeka March 2019

BOT Meeting Report from 6/3/19 Meeting

Big change for the centre is the theme for the New Year at Wangapeka.  It has been a very full couple of months with much activity as we navigate the fast-approaching changes of our caretakers’ Faith and Guy, and the resignation of our Communications Manager Mira Riddiford and the usually busy summer/autumn retreat season. We also welcome new people in many areas.


Our Wangapeka Elders are precious Taonga in our diverse community.  Tarchin Hearn, Mary Jenkins, Keith Rowan and Bonni Ross are now joined by Matthew Eades as a new Wangapeka Elder.  The Board of Trustees welcomed the perspectives of the Elders who were unanimous in their sense that Matthew would bring valuable presence and experience to the elders group.  We thank them heartfully for their deep Wisdom and Compassion.

Matthew’s response to the invitation follows:

“Watching the elders engage in their different processes to communicate what they see as the underpinnings of the Wangapeka Centre and its communities in a way that those communities can hear and understand has given me much pleasure over the years. I hope I am able to meet those high standards and to contribute something of value to the questions that arise.



The BOT will continue to explore and clarify with our Elders how new Elders are selected.  Overall the current BOT feel that criteria and decisions would come from within the Elders group.

Changes of Caretakers and People Offering Service

Guy and Faith are leaving after two extraordinary years of service to the centre.  They were farewelled at Wangapeka in February.  There is more to read about this special time in the Kumanu article.

In light of the complex roles of Caretakers and the increased busyness at the centre, and resulting workload, the roles of caretakers are being reviewed and new service roles are being created.

The Wangapeka Trust warmly welcomes Patrick Downey (Faith’s brother) back to the role of Land Caretaker and Amber McCullough to the role of Office Caretaker.

We joyfully welcome back Brandon Schwinn (a former caretaker also) who will live at the Wangapeka and offer maintenance service to the centre.  We are very grateful for his generosity.

We are very happy to continue regularly enjoying the cooking of Brooke Walker and Lily Redgrave during retreats.  Lily has also most kindly offered service between retreats to manage the overall running of the kitchen including cleaning, ordering and implementing the new, rigorous health and safety kitchen requirements.

Communications Manager

Mira Riddiford has announced her resignation from her longstanding role as communications manager for the WET trust.  She has been developing her work and reaching ever-increasing communities for over a decade.  She ran and designed the website, Facebook, Instagram, Mail chimp, Meet up and Newsphere, which is a mammoth commitment.

Mira worked long hours in service to communications for WET, and was as paid a nominal wage for 14 hours per month. She has produced the highest standard of work in all her developments and we thank her deeply for her work.

Mira is kindly helping us out by remaining in the role until the handover to new people is made.

Iain Verigin form Canada has very generously offered to be the Web Master.  He will help restructure the communication roles and oversee this process of handover.  

Please read the full article about Mira and our search for new Communications People in Newsphere and Kumanu.

Health and Safety

Faith and Guy have laid the foundation systems for the WET to comply with new Health and Safety requirements.  This has been a labour of love and plain hard work!  

We are now looking at refining our processes and systems to ensure we stay current with any new legislation or criteria. The BOT is considering consulting a Health and Safety specialist to advise and carry out an independent overview of our current systems.

An update of fire evacuation plans will be part of this process.

Thanks to all who read this, for your interest, care and involvement in Wangapeka.  A place of much needed refuge.  

May all beings be well and happy, may all beings be free!

Are You an E-Communicator? 

We are looking for people to help out on our communications team

Can you offer help with:

Web Support

Updating content like news and events on the Wangapeka website.


Creating the Newsphere e-newsletter in the existing MailChimp template. Sourcing and cropping images. Adding articles and events.

Social media

Sharing posts on the Wangapeka Facebook and Instagram accounts.


We are open as to how the work will be shared, it will depend on people’s skills, interests and time available. There may be some remuneration for the Web Support role.

Kath Mitchell would love to have a chat with you if interested or you have any questions. Email: mitchell.kath@gmail.com

Guy and Faith’s Farewell Circle of Appreciation

It was with much joy that a group of us gathered at Wangapeka on February 23rd to farewell Faith and Guy. A beautiful centrepiece had been created by Louise Mair in the Whare Wānanga, with rocks, pine cones, and cloths representing the beauty of the Wangapeka land and surroundings. We formed a circle and sat together, feeling into our connection with the land and our community, seen and unseen, past, present and future, and our deep motivation to support the welfare of all beings. We then offered spontaneous expressions of gratitude and celebration that, like Guy and Faith, were peppered with laughter, playfulness, music, poetry, sincerity, love and a huge amount of appreciation, for all that they are and all that they have offered to the Centre over the last 2 years. The Wangapeka land and community really are thriving, and Guy and Faith’s deep caring have been instrumental to this flourishing. Wishing them both joy and happiness in their new life! 

Meet the new Caretakers and other service givers 

Patrick Downey is returning as Land Caretaker at the beginning of May. 

Brandon Schwinn, a former Caretaker, is returning to Wangapeka to offer maintenance service to the Centre.

Amber McCulloch has stepped into the role of Office Caretaker, beginning end May/early June.

“My first encounter with Wangapeka was on a retreat in 2012 and I feel like I have been called back ever since. Moving to Nelson in 2015 brought me closer to both the Nelson Buddhist Centre and Wangapeka, and a feeling of being held and supported by both on my dharma journey. It has been wonderful to get to know many in the community over the last few years and a blessing to step into the team holding this space which so beautifully supports the unfolding of beings. Thank you for this opportunity.”

Lily Redgrave is returning to offer service cooking for retreats and oversee the running of the Wangapeka kitchen over Autumn/Winter/Spring. 

“My name is Lily, I am from NZ, and I have the great pleasure to cook in this lovely kitchen on this magical land. The Wangapeka has provided me with the gentle space to delve into a seedling of a passion -cooking- that has now begun sprouting into a more solid and attainable passion. The exchange between the cook and the participants is one full of mutual care and awareness for each other and that environment is truly special to create under. I look forward to all the future cooking at this centre and cooking for all the people that attend those retreats.”

Brooke Walker continues to offer her generosity and skill in the Wangapeka kitchen supporting retreats wherever she can.

“Hi everyone, I’m a neighbour of the Wangapeka, a member of the sangha and one of the cooks. We have a small farm near the Wangapeka and when there’s a surplus in the garden I’m able to supply nutritious organic produce to the Centre. I particularly enjoy making sure that while people are retreating they have good healthy food. I’m a busy mum but try to make occasional retreats when I can and look forward to doing that more often.”

Huge Thanks to our Interim Caretakers!

The Board of Trustees are very grateful to those who have stepped forward to be at the Centre during this time of transition between Faith and Guy leaving and new appointees arriving. Their generosity has meant that we have been able to support the two retreats (Returning to the Source and Courage! Tara for Today) scheduled during this time. In addition, we have managed to ensure that we always have one person on site between retreats.

Thank you to Chris Petzold, Duncan Mackay, Alison Wilkie and Louise Petzold.

We are also very pleased to let you know that Faith has agreed to continue to do the office administration, including banking, off-site to ensure a smooth transition period. She is also willing to return to the Centre in order to train Amber when she starts in late May/early June.