Permaculture Design Course, Otamatea Eco-Village, Northland, New Zealand (1-15 March 2013)

What: 14-day intensive residential PDC course
Otamatea Eco-Village, Northland, New Zealand
1-15 March 2013
NZ$1,700 fully inclusive of tuition, food and camping (some other accommodation options are available).

The course will:

  • Cover sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates
  • Give you a good understanding of the ethics, principles and patterns of permaculture design
  • Convey a general understanding of a wide range of common strategies and techniques
  • Explore the implications of social change towards ecological sustainability
  • Assist each student to access resources required to actively take the course philosophy and methodology into their future life

Field trips to local permaculture and organic gardening sites are included.

Daniel Tohill & Trish Allen

About the Tutors

Trish Allen: Trish and her late husband Joe Polaischer founded the iconic, award-winning Rainbow Valley Farm in 1988 on permaculture principles and ethics. The farm inspired thousands of people over 25 years in sustainable living and demonstrated the principles of permaculture in action. Trish has now moved on and established a village-scale model of permaculture and shares her knowledge by teaching permaculture-related courses and workshops. Trish has a Diploma in Permaculture.

Daniel Tohill: Daniel has worked for over 20 years as a landscape / permaculture designer, educator and environmental consultant. His ecological designs have won awards for his innovative and artful work and have taken him all over the country and occasionally abroad. He has done over 1,000 small and large landscape designs in rural and urban areas plus a diverse range of specialist projects. Since 1998 Daniel has also been developing with his wife Jude, son Oscar and daughter Poppy a permaculture / organic farm and apiary on 5 acres overlooking the Kaipara Harbour at the Otamatea Eco-Village. They have designed and built one of the first straw bale houses in the north plus an earth brick barn and a natural swimming pool.

Guest Tutors:

Graeme North is a national and internationally renowned eco-architect who has specialised for over 30 years in integrated design of sustainable buildings into productive livingscapes, eco-architecture, permaculture, strawbale, mud brick, in-situ adobe, cob buildings, and earth building (including earth building standards & codes).

Sabine Drückler and Wolfgang Hiepe have lived at the Otamatea Eco-Village since 1999 and their property is a manifestation of their commitment to self-sufficiency and appropriate technology. Both Sabine and Wolfgang hold a Diploma in Permaculture.

About Otamatea Eco-Village: Situated on a peninsula in the stunning Kaipara Harbour near Kaiwaka, this 250 acre property is home to 15 families.

Accommodation & Food: The course fee $1,700 includes all meals and camping accommodation. Please bring your own tent and bedding. Some other accommodation options will be available, please enquire.

Contact:, or trishallen (at) or +64 (0)9 422 9422 or +64 (0)21 2034510.

Trish Allen

32 years ago my late husband, Joe Polaischer, and I co-founded Rainbow Valley Farm, an organic farm and permaculture education centre near the village of Matakana in the north of New Zealand. Over those years we ran farm tours and permaculture-related courses including PDCs. Joe died suddenly in 2008, and I moved on from the farm to the village. Rainbow Valley Farm is now being run by a family who are continuing the work Joe and I started. Joe and I discovered permaculture in the early 1980s and were totally inspired by the concept. It made sense to us and we were keen to put it into action. After doing PDCs, we bought 50 acres of run-down farmland and established Rainbow Valley Farm (see above) where we created an abundant permaculture paradise. Since leaving the farm in November 2010 I have made a new home for myself in the village and created a mini permaculture paradise with 50 fruit trees around my small eco-house. I am also teaching PDCs and other permaculture related courses and my new passion is waste minimisation. I co-founded Mahurangi Wastebusters in 2017 and our mission is to reduce waste to landfill and recover resources for the benefit of our community.

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