Our District

Workshops summary

Workshops were held at Kāpiti College, Ōtaki College, the ZEAL headquarters and Matai Road Community Gardens. 


Sunday 24 July, 3-4.30pm, Matai Rd Community Garden

Building a bio-digester - to liquidise noxious weeds, transforming them into fertiliser.

Barrels of Fun was planned to take place at the Matai Rd Community Garden, with Brian Falkner from Rain Harvest Products showing how repurpose plastic barrels around the garden to capture rainwater and make liquid fertiliser. The plan was for Brian to demonstrate connecting up the existing five barrel stand at the garden. Unfortunately the stormy conditions meant the workshop was relocated to Kāpiti College where participants built biodigestors instead. This was easy and fun but many were keen to see the rainbarrel set up, so this has been rescheduled to Sunday 7 August at 1:30 – 3pm, at the community garden of course.

For more information on rain barrels and bio- digesters contact Brian Falkner at rainharvest@clear.net.nz or visit : www.plasticweldingrepairs.co.nz or go to Rain Harvest facebook page



Saturday 16 July, 10–11.30am, Kāpiti College and 1:30-3pm, Ōtaki College; and Wednesday 20 July, 10am-12pm, St Peters Hall, Paekākāriki. 

Jan Nisbet and the Paekākāriki Bike Library team teach the A,B,C,Ds of bike maintenance.

Bike riders young and old turned up with all types of bikes to workshops held in Ōtaki, Raumati and Paekākāriki. Here they learnt basic bike maintenance from experienced bike mechanic Matt Nicol, and the Paekākāriki Bike Library crew.  From fixing punctures to adjusting brakes and keeping cables oiled, everyone learnt something new and left with smooth running wheels.



Sunday 17 July, 11:30am-1pm, Kāpiti College and 3-4:30pm, Ōtaki College. 

Beekeeper Pete Mackie discussed what’s needed to set up a hive or form a beekeeping club, demonstrating the basic equipment.  People swarmed in to hear Pete’s talk and were keen for a follow-up session.



Sunday 17 July, 1:30-3pm, Kāpiti College and Sunday 24 July, 1:30-3pm, Ōtaki College.


The Menzshed presented a well organised and fun workshop, showing all ages how to build a garden tote box  - perfect for keeping essentials close at hand. Participants busily got to work and each built a handy box with helpful guidance from the Menzshed crew.




Sunday 17 July, 10-11:30am, Ōtaki College and 3-4:30pm Kāpiti College

Chris Webb encourages full participation to build a raised garden bed at Ōtaki College.

"Measure twice, cut once", was one of Chris Webb's pearls of wisdom shared at the “Build A Simple Raised Garden Bed” workshops at both Ōtaki and Kāpiti College gardens. Chris encouraged full participation, providing great tips on how to be resourceful and make the most of existing materials. The end result was two impressive looking garden beds ready to be filled by students when the school term resumed.


Tuesday 19 July, 1-3pm, ZEAL headquarters, Rimu Road (beside PAK’n SAVE). 


This was a great workshop, it was fabulous to see so many people turn up and make some really neat little herb gardens using pallets. Participants were soon put to work using saws, hammers, nails and drills as they constructed their herb gardens. There was plenty of help available and the workshop was a hive of activity. 




Saturday 16 July, 1:30-3pm, Kāpiti College, and Sunday 24 July, 3-4:30pm

Geoff Osgood shows how rid your property of pests by building your own rat trap.

Joining the Battle to Save the Birds, participants were guided by Geoff Osgood and the Paekākāriki Rat Pack to make their own rat traps. This was a fun hands-on workshop with a really useful outcome. The rats and mice on the Coast are now shaking in their paws.



Saturday 16 July, 11:30am-1pm, Ōtaki College garden and Saturday 23 July, 1:30-3pm, Māra kai (garden) at Kāpiti College marae. 

The art of building a living compost heap was shared by two gardening experts. At the Ōtaki College gardens Bernadine Bloemgarten from Transition Towns Ōtaki showed that putting life into the soil is the key to growing healthy food. An impressive compost heap was built from fresh green waste weeded from the garden, manure and drier foliage.


The following weekend brave souls turned up in the rain for Daniel McClellan’s composting workshop at the Māra kai, Kāpiti College marae. Dan shared his extensive knowledge and wisdom on how to get your compost cranking. He encouraged hands on participation and soon a beautiful heap was built – which Dan thought was good enough to sleep on!



Saturday 16 July, 10-11:30am, Ōtaki College. 

Aimee and Jane from Figgy & Co led an informative, hands on workshop making household cleaners from natural ingredients. Figgy & Co is a local business, who make all natural, non-toxic, budget friendly cleaning products and also supply the bulk ingredients and recipes to encourage people to make their own at home.

It was a busy session, where peppermint shower cleaner that smelt good enough to eat, as well as bench spray and laundry powder were made.




Monday 18 July, 1-3pm, 99 Tilley Road, Paekākāriki.

A full workshop of children and adults turned up to get busy in the garden with Tina Pope. The children stitched leaves to make jewellery, made seed bombs and miniature gardens with help from Olive, Ellie and Yasmin.

Meanwhile Tina showed the adults the hands-on workings of an urban edible garden. It’s all about soil and looking after your plants. Rain earlier in the day meant pruning was cancelled, but there was still plenty to do and learn, including compost building and crop rotation.



Sunday 24 July, 10-11:30am, Kāpiti College. 

Zap and Chad learning the weaving techniques and showing of the results of their efforts!

Kaia Hawkins began her Harakeke workshop starting with the tikānga of harvesting and working with harakeke, and a karakia. She taught the traditional technique for weaving a kete. Participants learnt that harakeke is a laxative, meaning eating and weaving don’t mix (protip – wash your hands afterwards!) The group were enthusiastic weavers and everyone stayed on for extra time to get their kete finished – thanks Kaia!



Sunday 17 July, 11.30am-1pm, Ōtaki College and Sunday 24th July, 11.30am-1pm, Kāpiti College. 

Participants were greeted with a delicious herbal tea to sip while Sandra Timmins from Stoney Ground Herbs (kapitiherbs.co.nz) shared her wisdom on how to propagate herbs and use them specifically for your health. Everyone made a herbal tincture to take home and learnt about other ways of preparing herbs. More tea was made and drunk, discussion continued and participants left with new knowledge on how to fend off winter ills.



Sunday 24 July, 10-11.30am, Ōtaki College and 1:30-3pm, Kāpiti College. 

Darcy Philp showed his first bird in a poultry show in 1952 and has been heavily involved with chickens and poultry shows ever since including being president of the North Island Poultry Association for 15 years and president of the Wellington/Hutt Valley branch for 35 years.

Darcy and his wife, Cheryle shared their extensive knowledge, giving tips and guidance on breeding, housing, hygiene, and general poultry care. Participants got to meet some of Darcy’s prize birds up close, and see chicken care first hand, right down to trimming beaks and toes.

To find out more call Darcy on 06 367 3256 or 021 138 5279 or email dphilp@vodafone.co.nz




Saturday 23 July, 11:30am-1pm, Kāpiti College. 

Kombucha, the 2000 year old beverage that the ancient Chinese called the 'Immortal Health Elixir'  is having a huge revival.  It is a refreshing digestive aid and tonic that has long been used to support recovery from cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.  People flocked to Megan Salole's workshop to find out how to make this magical drink at home. Megan talked through the steps, starting with making a sugary tea which the  ‘SCOBY’* feast on. Everyone left with a jar containing all the crutial ingredients to get their Kombucha started and recipes for future favoured infusions (including lemon meringue pie and pina colada).

*symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.



Saturday 16 July, 3-4:30pm, Ōtaki College, and Saturday 23 July, 3-4:30pm, Kāpiti College. 



Those who attended Rob Kennedys traditional paper making workshop were shown how to make paper from scratch and had a go making their own. They learnt about the special qualities of harakeke - an important New Zealand native plant. Its strong fibrous leaves are fantastic for weaving but problematic in waste streams. Following Rob’s interest in avoiding waste he developed techniques for processing harakeke into pulp for paper making, with beautiful results. The workshop was enjoyed by both adults and children who eagerly awaited picking up their dried paper a week later.



Mon 18th July: 9am-2pm, He Iti Nā Mōtai Whare Kōhungahunga, 144 Tasman road,  Ōtaki.

Parakore and Te Aho Tū Roa hosted a full-day Waste Workshop on Monday 18th July, facilitated by Parakore Manager Jacqui Forbes.

3 local kura and kohanga groups in Ōtaki were in attendance with staff from 2 centres all present. Participants learnt about 'whakapapa of stuff' and were able to trace the beginnings of all things found in our recycling bins. The whakapapa of plastic was of particular interest to participants, discovering it's origins from oil which is derived from Papatūānuku. Once Atua connections were made, it became clearer the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling!

Since the workshop, both kohanga of Ōtaki are reflecting on Parakore principles which they learnt, and implementing it into their programme this term.



Saturday 16 July, 11:30-1pm Kāpiti College.

Have you ever tried bread aioli or bread salad? Pimp Your Bread participants learnt how to turn bread ends, crusts, and stale slices into something delicious with Ricky Dennes of Long Beach Tavern. Ricky showed how to make delicious bread aioli (so moreish!) and a crunchy breadcrumb topping for soups, salads and pasta, and everyone got hands-on making an Italian bread and tomato salad. Yum!  




Sunday 17 July, 10-11:30am, Kāpiti College. 

Artist JoAnna Mere invited participants to bring along trinkets, broken jewellery, metal bits and bobs and nature finds to create unique new jewellery creations. On the day JoAnna had lost her voice, but soldiered on with Jake repeating her whispers for all to hear. People were impressed with her in depth understanding of materials. Some lovely pieces were created including a steampunk pendant and a Lego figure brooch.