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Newsphere May 2022

Greetings Wangapeka whānau, 

We hope this finds you well.
Here in NZ, the season's changes have been leaving their mark, as brightly coloured leaves fall to the ground, reminding us of the fact of impermanence. Much has happened in Wangapeka-world since our last edition of Newsphere, as the BoT and community continue to try to keep up with the many changes that our world demands of us. While not immune to the challenges that this presents, Wangapeka continues to be a precious sanctuary of peace and deep aspiration, and we give thanks to the many beings who continue to contribute to its ongoingness, for the benefit of all.

In this edition you will find a rich Kumanu report from the Board of Trustees, farewells and welcomes to departing and arriving caretakers, and some wonderful sharing of background research and ongoing work around Te Tiriti, Tiwaiwaka, and the Whakapapa of Wangapeka. We hope you enjoy these offerings! 

With love,
Chani Grieve and the Wangapeka Communications team

Here is a link to our March Newsphere 2022.

Earlier newsletters can be found on our Wangapeka Publications page.

Also, here is a link to renew your Annual Subscription.

Kumanu Wangapeka 

News from your current Board of Trustees
crafted by Elli Yates and Shelley Taylor

Tēnā koutou, greetings to the Wangapeka sangha far and wide from your faithful Board members - Shelley, Tim, Cashy, Dan, Elli and Dave.
The word ‘kumanu,’ as defined by the Māori dictionary, is a verb meaning ‘to tend carefully, foster, attend to, care for, cherish’. It is with this quality of attentiveness that we greet you through this medium - in acknowledgement of the reciprocal care between the Wangapeka land itself, our ancestors past and present, plants and animals, Board members, elders, sangha, caretakers and all other members of our spiritual community.

We notice that communication with the Wangapeka community is vastly different than previous years as the current Board is scattered over quite a geographical area. This means some of us don't connect so easefully to the Nelson Sangha groups who are active in supporting the Dharma and the Centre through natural neighbourly networks. There is a lack of informal "by the way...." opportunities to share the things that are before the Board, and also gathering informal feedback on how the Board's decisions and resulting actions at  the Wangapeka Centre are experienced. 
Our Covid context also creates distance as many are cautious to make physical connections, and travel to the Centre is now a big consideration.

Together with the Comms team we are looking at ways to make the Board decisions and processes more publicly available so that everyone is kept in the loop. Watch this space for an update around how we do this. In the meantime, feel free to contact us at any time with suggestions / comments / concerns. We are:

Shelley Taylor, 

Tim Leyland,

Cashy Yates, 

Elli Yates, 

Dan Burgess-Milne,

David Pooch, 

This Kumanu includes updates around the centre's Covid Policy, changes in food costs, a pause on the Mike's Caravan conversion, news of ongoing offerings, and farewells and welcome for our changeover Caretaker. You can read the full edition here.

May you be well and happy, may you be free.

New Board Members needed

Some of the current Board members will be stepping down from the Board at our AGM at the end of July. We want to signal this early to the community, so members have time to consider if this is something they could offer. If you would like to become a Board member and offer invaluable service to the community, please contact Tim Leyland for more information.

Farewell Hadleigh and Malu, Welcome Jacinta! 

Changing seasons, changing caretakers

Recently we farewelled Hadleigh and Malu after over a year of service as Caretakers of the Wangapeka. All of us benefited from their incredible team work, joyful industry, and commitment to making the centre and the land a welcoming environment for all. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to them both for all that they gave during their time here. We wish them well on their travels in Europe, and do hope they will return to the fold later this year.

Landing at the Wangapeka

Jacinta Nowland

It is a wondrous blessing to have arrived here in this wonderful and curious valley of bracken, or learning corner, known as the Wangapeka. I am very grateful for the guidance and teachings in Dharma practice and the opportunity to practice in a peaceful, calm environment of dedicated practitioners visiting, the deep beautiful resonant sound of the bell, and the magnificent views as I walk along the paths and the road. 

And also for the need to maintain and to clear the paths and the road so that it doesn't wash away in the rain (or a number of things don't go awry). Various tools have been shown so that I may explore and learn what skilful means means, in supporting the Dharma centre, physically and spiritually. Weed whackers, shovels, rakes, a tractor, and the gradual path of the Sattipattana Sutta, and morning and evening meditations at the Whare, gradually help clear the terrain and make clearer what is what and what needs to be let go of and what can be done. 

Sarva Mangalam

Do you have a home for Pinto?

Free to a good home:
Very soft and smoochy and slightly wild black cat. He has a white spot under his chin like a tui. Strong cat, good hunter. Probably suited to a home without other cats.
Please phone Jacinta at Wangapeka: 03 522 4221 / 027 363 8435

This Nectar of Naturalness

Tarchin and Mary have very generously donated a supply of Tarchin's latest book to help raise funds for Wangapeka. This wonderful book is just $20 to purchase, and can be ordered through You might consider adding a further donation to the cost of the book to support the centre at this time. Enormous gratitude to Tarchin and Mary for their ongoing support for Wangapeka.

The Whakapapa of the Wangapeka whenua

A continuing exploration by Louise Petzold

The history of the land.
It sounds like a very compelling title doesn’t it? It alludes to a kind of certainty of knowing what’s happened over the years on and to the land the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre currently sits on, and has sat on for 47 years.
Over the last year I’ve done a bit of prodding, poking and researching about this question acknowledging that we are all part of what ever came before, as we are part of whatever comes after. I’ve spoken to Iwi, historians, community members. Read various books, title deeds, old news prints. Held off writing anything for Newsphere until, “I have a bit more information”- as if there will one day be a nicely framed chronological low-down I can offer to the community.
Well that day didn’t happen.
Nor does it look like it will any time soon.
However, it seems time to reveal what is known so far, from this biased view, knowing that this journey of discovery is by no means complete, and in the hope that others who may hold more knowledge, may add to the kete.
So, here goes!

Read here for more

Te Tiriti o Waitangi Focus Group

Shelley Taylor

Te Tiriti o Waitangi Focus Group is a Wangapeka Sangha group who meets monthly to explore our personal responses and experiences in Te Ao Māori. The purpose of this group is to share a journey exploring our relationship with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Over the last few meetings we have been holding the question: 'what is it to be a good treaty partner?' This has been a rich and rewarding process! Please contact any one of us if you are interested in joining the kōrero. We are tentatively open to receiving new members while holding the energy we have built together carefully. Watch this space for further updates when we are ready to share more of our experiences with the sangha. 

Contact can be made with Elli Yates  or Louise Petzold

Tiwaiwaka and an exploration of Kaitiakitanga

Louise Petzold 

A seed was planted, or maybe many were dispersed when, before Covid in 2020, the Wangapeka community had the good fortune to have Pā Ropata, Rob McGowan, attend at the Centre and share his wisdom. An attempt to have a further hui at the Centre had to be delayed (sound familiar?!) and it seemed like a long way off until the rescheduled version in August 2022.

Rob lives in Tauranga and is central to the Tiwaiwaka movement ( He is a prominent Rongoā Māori practitioner, well respected for his years of work in the restoration of Rongoā Māori practice and traditional knowledge of native plants and medicines in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

We were fortunate when, in the midst of Rob's full schedule in Te Tau Ihu, he made time to meet with a small group of local Nelson sangha to explore further the themes of the upcoming hui- Exploring Kaitiakitanga of the Wangapeka Whenua.
So many of us feel we know the land at the Wangapeka Retreat Centre and express the sense of nourishment and support it provides. Meeting with Rob gave us the opportunity to start to explore the question "What does the land at the Wangapeka need to be well?" The Tiwaiwaka principles spring from Mātauranga Māori and set a priority of caring for the whenua first and making decisions based on the wellness of the land. It reminds us of our connection and responsibility to all living things- that healing the mauri of the land is a vast journey to peace and an ongoing discovery of our interconnectedness.

The next hui will take place from 26th-28th August 2022 and there will be more updates in Newsphere as this journey progresses.
If you have any questions in the meantime, contact Louise on 

Wangapeka records accepted into archives

by Ray Caird

At last we have Approval from the Tasman Bays Heritage Trust/ Nelson Provincial Museum (NPM) accepting our WET Archives. Placing our archives into the professional care of the Museum Research Centre (located in Isel Park, Stoke) protects and safeguards them for future generations. Note that for convenient access by members, WET will still have a significant amount of duplicate archive material at the Centre. These have been collated by myself, and include the complete photo catalogue digitised by Thelma Rogers (over a thousand photos) and all duplicate copies of Newsphere, Board Minutes, AGMs etc.
Of course, one-off items such as the 20 years of bound handwritten diaries of Mike Elliott will be kept safe from rats and fire in the Museum's temperature controlled storage. While these are mainly factual records of things such as rainfall and building schedules they may also provide useful inputs for future research. 
The next generation walking the Orla with mum Chani circumambulate the Pagoda

2022 Program

Chenrezig Meditation Retreat

with Mark Schrader, 10 – 15 June 2022

This is an experiential meditation course that focuses on developing compassion for oneself and others. Both beginners and those wishing to deepen their meditation practice are welcome to attend. Each day there will be instructions and specific explorations connected to the Chenrezig practice including sessions where we meditate together as a group. There will also be space for people to practice independently.

Read more.

Touching The Earth

with Jaime Howell, Ming Janssen, Chrystal Rogers, 18 – 24 June 2022

“The key to reclaiming our original wholeness is not to suppress psychological symptoms, to merely recover from addictions and trauma, or to simply manage stress but rather to fully embody our multifaceted wild minds, commit ourselves to the largest, soul-aligned story we’re capable of living, and serve the greater Earth community.” The retreat is inspired by the work of Bill Plotkin.

A retreat to deepen into the work of what Joanna Macy calls the Great Turning, “A shift from the Industrial Growth Society to a life-sustaining civilization”.

Now is a time to cultivate refuge in our belonging to this living earth, growing skills and resources for self care woven together in the heart basket of community that includes the more than human world.

Touching the Earth is a practise that will guide people into the empowered heart of inter-being, it is a teaching for these times. Using the arts of luminous meditation, word and movement we will honour the pain and turn struggles into generous creative acts.

Read more.

The Star Tarot

Goddesses of the Heart Retreat

with Mira Riddiford 1 – 8 July 2022

For the eighth annual mid-year Western Mystery retreat we will be focussing on the wisdom teachings of the goddesses of the heart: Aphrodite, Venus, Hathor, Isis and Freyja.

The associated tarot card for this retreat will be the key of Star.

This retreat is an opportunity to unplug from the busyness and demands of everyday life, to reconnect with nature and your body, and to safely process your emotions. It’s a way to sit with and heal from the difficulties of life, and to go deeper in your meditation and mindfulness practice.

Read more.

Sanctuary in Uncertainty

Insight Meditation Retreat

with Jeremy Logan and Kanya Stewart, 14 – 18 September 2022

In these unprecedented times of radical change and uncertainty, a new world is being born.  Courage and compassionate presence strengthens us to face into the chaos and not turn away.  With wisdom and determination, we can move forward together to create a world based on justice, kindness, and shared resources, rather than on greed, hatred and delusion.

The practices of Insight Meditation support our inherent capacity to awaken to wisdom and an open heartedness. In recognising our own suffering, we recognise our interconnectedness and see that our personal welfare and happiness is intimately interwoven with the wellbeing of all.

Read more.

Foundations of Samadhi

Düntün (Seven-day) Retreat

with Jakob Leschly, 20 – 27 November 2022

This retreat is held under the auspices of Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche with Jakob Leschly as his resident instructor.

About the course

The practice of Buddhist meditation allows us to uncover and experience our natural heritage of wisdom though cultivating insight or vipashyana.

It is to establish a peaceful space of presence and mindfulness, allowing us to awaken a calmer and wider appreciation of our reality.

A retreat is an invaluable moment of clarifying and reaffirming our commitment to the vision and path of meditation. Jakob Leschly will lead the 7-day retreat, offering general instruction and individual interviews.

Read more.

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