We are at a unique and exciting moment in the journey: we have been offered a special piece of land known as ‘Pīwakawaka Farm’ in Whanganui.
673 Papaiti Road has been owned and organically farmed by Murray Jones and Melinda Hatherly for 14 years. It is legally described as Lot 1 DP 7742, held in Certificate of Title WN24C/743.
It comprises 70ha, and contains Murray and Lindy’s home. They wish to subdivide this block to retain their home and a 4ha area around it (Lot 2), selling to us the remaining 67ha which contains orchards, gardens and predominantly regenerating bush (Lot 1).
The land is 14km north-west of Whanganui town centre, and sits adjacent (to the west) of Te Awa Tupua - The Whanganui River. Tauraroa Stream runs through the land and into the Whanganui River. The site is zoned Rural General.
We have comprehensive information about the land available on request, including the local area, the Horizons Region, Whanganui, the unique opportunities of this land, the features of the land, the climate, the current land owners, our supportive network, and challenges that we have identified in our viability assessment.
We are a highly skilled team of young professionals qualified in clinical psychology, ecological design, native forest restoration, community development, embodied therapies, urban planning and much more. Everything you can see in the Learning Environment organisation has been created by us with the support of our respected advisors, whānau, and friends.
To date we’ve put in well over 10,000 in-kind hours over 3 years and personally funded most of our costs. Imagine what we can do with your support and collaboration as partners!
We’ve received funding from Whanganui River Enhancement Trust to plant the stream running through the land and build a tree nursery. We’ve also received funding from DB Environmental Trust to contribute to the start-up costs of our market garden.
Once we have purchased the land we will be able to apply for more funding and increase the scale of our social enterprise, Pīwakawaka Farm. We’re already selling apple juice and vegetables at the local market.
We also have community support through a growing relationship with Te Ao Hou marae; a letter of support from Whanganui Mayor, Hamish McDouall; a collaborative relationship with Healthy Families; and budding relationships with people from local iwi, owners of local cafes, bars, and small businesses.
Overview of our financial model
Woven Rivers Charitable Trust (WRCT) has conducted extensive operational budgeting and planning for the first five years. WRCT and Piwakawaka Farm Ltd are currently supported by Fairground Accounting. Learning Environment Ltd has not yet been established as our current focus is preparing the land, so it has the facilities, and necessary health and safety controls, for education.
We have projected our Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), Operational Expenditure (OPEX), and revenue for “minimum”, “probable”, and “optimum” start-up scenarios. We’re happy to provide you with detailed information upon request as we’re currently updating our budgeting to reflect the final Sale and Purchase agreement.
The annual “shoe string” expenditure to maintain the land and businesses without growth or paying wages is approximately $20,000 (i.e. the status quo). This includes rates, basic land maintenance, accounting, and digital platforms for communications. We see this as an unlikely scenario, but have included it to show the low risk of failure and our commitment to this project.
To give you an idea of our immediate plans, WRCT aims to establish Stage 1 Infrastructure in late 2021/early 2022. Stage 1 Infrastructure includes:
Stage 1 Education Area (WRCT):
A large educational facility;
Kitchen, toilet, shower and accommodation facilities that comply with zoning specifications and can service a minimum of 20 people at a time;
In June 2020 WRCT was gifted an ablution block (showers and toilets), twenty bell tents, mattresses and bedding - by the Namaste Foundation.
Stage 1 Infrastructure for the Native Nursery Enterprise (Pīwakawaka Farm Ltd):
Shade houses for propagation of native plants (funded by Whanganui River Enhancement Trust).
Stage 1 Infrastructure for the Market Garden Enterprise (Pīwakawaka Farm Ltd):
Cropping beds and greenhouses for propagation of vegetables.
For more info on our economic strategy,
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