We are a network of designers and practitioners who are inspired by innovative and proven applications of permaculture principles in a range of activities and initiatives and how these models can be applied to the Auckland bioregion. The foundations of our organisation were established by Finn Mackesy and Gary Marshall in 2008. In 2010 Rilke de Vos joined the team, followed by Amabel Hunting from 2011 through to 2014 and Ron Sperber in 2013. In addition to the three current directors, we have many active contributors. By working in an interdisciplinary environment with a group of educators, and designers, Auckland Permaculture Workshop (APW) have developed and offer a range of workshops that explore permaculture solutions in the Auckland bioregion.

APW is a collaborative education initiative set up to explore and create innovative permaculture solutions for the Auckland bioregion:


“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself – Education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform… Through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself in the direction in which it wishes to move” (John Dewey).

APW provides a dynamic and interactive learning environment, utilising a range of teaching methods that accommodate and respond to different ways of learning. Our workshops teach the application of systems thinking and the science of sustainability and resilience through ecological design, social innovation and the appropriate use of technology while providing participants with useful and relevant skills training.



“Design is basic to all human activities” (Victor Papanek). It is also “an interactive, imaginative process for creating something that has never existed before” (Janis Birkeland). The idea of design is ubiquitous in our society yet we take for granted that good design, like other skills, is a learned behaviour. The act of design underpins permaculture and is fundamental to the philosophy and practice of APW.


In order to support our education programme, we are actively involved in researching various aspects of the Auckland bioregion. The primary objective of this research is to deepen our understanding of what it means to live sustainably in this bioregion and how we can build resilience as individuals and as family and community members.