Jill Whitmore became interested in intentional community in 1989 soon after the birth of her youngest child. She imagined a place where children could grow up in a fun, supportive environment surrounded by more than a nuclear family. In 1997 she and her husband Peter bought the land which is Turanga Farm, and started learning how to farm cattle and sheep organically, as well as attracting early members of the “farm group”. David Rose and his family moved to one of the existing farmhouses soon after to be more present in the forming community and help with the farm. Virtually all the fencing you now see has been built in the years since, and there has been ongoing work at weed control and native planting.
At the same time, planning was underway for the ecovillage, culminating in an initial resource consent being granted in 2007. From 2010 the project underwent a major shift from being developer-led to largely community-led, with advice and mentoring being sought from other successful communities. In 2012 development began in earnest, with the construction of a large farm shed, access roads, reticulation of services, wastewater treatment facilities and many other things. As of mid-2014 we are very close to having construction complete, the Society formed and lots issued ready for the first wave of sales.
There has been a huge amount of work carried out by the owners and the founding members: their son Ben and his partner Amyria, Peter’s cousin Dido and other members Brian and David. They have researched and taken advice from various sources to find out what makes a successful Community in order to try to avoid the pitfalls. During 2012, several families joined to make the “first wave” of members to the Community.
We are in the closing stages of becoming an Incorporated Society once the Agreements have been finalised.