Future Whenua 2022 – Post Event Update

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2021 summit in Southland. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Kia Ora and welcome to the Future Whenua Summit 2022!

We promised you all a followup to FWS22 and here it is! We’ve got some great photos hot off the press and a full video tour of the Montana Flat that we shot just prior to heading up to Mangarara for the main event!

Mangarara Station is a beautiful representation of the type of land stewardship our conversation is orientated towards. Greg and Rachel have been practising regenerative agriculture since well before it held that title and they now live as a vibrant example of the practice. They are pioneers in agroforestry, have several enterprises operating in unison, a focus on community development and a keen eye on the future.
It was a wet week on the East Coast of the North Island. So we were largely confined to the lodge (there are much worse places to be holed up!) but it didn’t stop us from getting out for a tour around Mangarara. Great to hear about the farming systems on the property and the philosophies that sit behind them.
Robbie Hill gave a comprehensive overview of the Savoury Institutes Ecological Outcome Verification. Robbie is in familiar territory at Mangarara as he ran the verification on the property. As well as a good insight into a globally recognised scheme we were provided with plenty of tips in general land observation.
As part of the farm tour, Greg took us through their agroforestry operations pointing out a valley containing some of the 100,000+ trees they have planted on the property in the last 10 years (and no not blanket radiata pines!)

These native trees are part of an enormous restoration project which includes a block of oaks that feeds acorns to Greg’s pigs, permaculture hedgerows full of fruits, herbs and beneficials, as well as a recently established mixed silvopasture regime.
Zeb led us into the weekend with some reflections on the Future Whenua mission and the journey so far. Visually guiding us to a scene some generations forwards where a group of our descendants are giving thanks to their tipuna for stepping up and taking action to co-create the agricultural oasis of a country they inhabit.
Finn Ross delivered an inspiring talk covering his work in Politics, through the emerging Future Farmers group. Academia, and his learnings so far through a thesis in seaweed as a solution for climate change. Entrepreneurship, informing us about the carbon conversation and offering an exciting solution in conjunction with CarbonCrop.
We had an even blend of live speakers, pre-recorded talks and Zoom calls. Whilst our focus is in-the-flesh presentations and connection, the digital option certainly holds the benefit of accessing some of the leading figures in this conversation. It was an honour to have Zach Bush join us (as pictured) and to hear the thoughts from legends like Joel Salatin, Graeme Sait and Steven Moe.
Zane, a soon-to-be resident at Mangarara, gave us some lessons in no-dig market gardening and mushroom farming, in exchange we helped lay cardboard and compost in preparation for an autumn cover crop.
Sam and Fleur from Circularity sparked a conversation about more functional food systems that are sustainable and resilient. Angela Clifford from EAT NZ and The Food Farm told us about her explorations of this topic at a national level and as kaitiaki herself. It was good to relate this conversation with the kai through the weekend which was mostly sourced from quality, local producers.
Mangarara Station was excellently suited for hosting the summit. We place equal importance on experience as education, and the Lodge was a great venue for a meal and live music on Saturday night. Constructed out of two ex-classrooms it is a shining example of sustainable construction and agri-tourism.
Felicity Joy of Homegrown Botanica’s workshop on foraging for wild herbs and edible weeds was a highlight for sure. We learnt general concepts, how to identify several common weeds and how to use them in the kitchen. When we’re talking about food security and resilience in an uncertain future, learning and practising wild foraging is a pretty effective idea. Felicity’s nasturtium capers and chickweed pesto proved it can taste pretty great too!
Leo helped lead us into the weekend with an exercise in greeting and acknowledging the others in the group. He then led us out of the weekend with a conclusory presentation, winding many of the themes and highlights from the weekend through the telling of his personal story from throwing “ReGenerate” parties and leasing worm farms to urban organisations.
One last massive thank you to Greg and Rachel for hosting us this weekend and for all the mahi in creating a beautiful future on the Whenua at Mangarara. Huge respect too to the awesome Hawkes Bar regenerative community. It was really cool to connect with you all. If you weren’t able to make the weekend but would like to catch up on what got discussed we have you sorted.

All talks were recorded and will be released this month!

We are still seeking sponsorship for this content series. This is your opportunity to support Future Whenua in a meaningful way and would have your logo featured on our videos alongside these legends!

This year at the Summit we implemented a pay what you think it’s worth model. We think a big part of the future involves new social structures and how we reciprocate value is definitely up for grabs. We think this video from Charles Eisenstein sums it up perfectly!

This dabble in the gift economy has felt very good for us and we’ll continue to employ it where possible. This will include our footage from the summit and other projects being freely available. If you would like to support our work then stay tuned and we’ll announce how you can help once the videos start rolling!

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