Permaculture Design Course

Tutors:         Kay Baxter & Bob Corker

Location:     Kotare Village, Wairoa, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Date:              1 -13  February 2015

Price:            $1900  (Price includes all meals and camping – BYO tent or camper.)

We are on the cusp of major changes as the slow decline in cheap oil impacts on our growth based globalised economy. Already the effects are starting to bite in some countries. Our challenge over the coming decade will be to create new systems that are not so reliant on fossil fuels and the economics of growth. The challenge is one of redesign of our economy and our ecology. This redesign is far more necessary and a far  greater job than personal initiatives, although these too are vital. Permaculture is a comprehensive ecological design system that addresses the ‘why, how and what’ and empowers individuals and communities to start this redesign now. Come and learn  the ‘tools’ you will need to engage in the coming change, from a team who are committed to being the change we wish to see in the world. Get the positive feel of what your future could become.


Every year we run two ”Permaculture Design Certificate” courses. A spring one which begins in September and an Autumn one which begins in February. These are intensive twelve day courses covering the curriculum recognised by the International Permaculture Research Institute, plus much more.Gives participants a solid practical foundation in permaculture design leaving them with:

  • The core knowledge required to continue learning
  • The confidence to start designing
  • The understanding that permaculture is real, practical, with lots of opportunity for livelihoods
  • Creates design teams that take it out to the worldIMG_4933-001
  • Is personally a wonderful & significant experience
  • Gives participants a strong experience of living permaculture
  • Links in with Kotare Village members and happenings
  • Feeds people well and in accordance with what is being taught
  • Is a course accredited by the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia (PRI)
  • Results in lasting bonds between group members (assisted with technology email groups after the course)

Time will be spent on theory, practicing design work and a wide range of practical activities, highlighting key techniques (Bio-intensive gardening, earth-building, waste recycling, appropriate technology, food processing and preservation).

You will live simply in community, and in a close relationship with our environment. Past students comments at the end of our courses always stress that it is this experience they find transforming.  You can read student feedback on our courses below.30.4.12 096

We believe that Permaculture Design is one of the best tools available for those who wish to take responsibility for the need to become more self-reliant as our globalised economy faces peak oil (and lots of other peaks). Not just for individual or family self-reliance, but more particularly for communities and Bio-regions. The context within which we teach this course will be our belief that in the coming years we urgently need to develop parallel economies that will have the resilience to cope with the likely power-down that our mainstream economy is faced with.

Over the last 30 years Kay and Bob have developed a comprehensive understanding and range of skills associated with family self-reliance, particularly food growing, building and appropriate technology.  They are increasingly focusing on the bigger picture as to how do we address self-reliance within communities and bio-regions.   We are serious about creating 
futures without being plugged into the globalised economy.30.4.12 076

The course starts with a thorough understanding of the Permaculture model of design, (the first two days).   From day three you will begin developing and practicing; observation, analysis and design within a permaculture framework (in the real world), and getting feedback and support from our team of experienced tutors and practicing designers. The structure of most days will be theory in the morning, followed by practical demonstrations, and design practice in the afternoon, followed by more design practice or research after dinner then discussions or DVD’s later.

In addition those who are serious about completing a diploma, and/or engaging in design as a vocation (both in NZ or overseas), and/or creating self-employment, using their new design skills, will be supported to set in place a mentor program for supporting their future work. If you feel like you need more information about the course, please contact us, and we will be happy to discuss it further.IMG_4928

This course is a prerequisite for our internship programs.

All food will be locally sourced, organic, nutrient dense, traditional and delicious.  It will be prepared following the principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

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The Permaculture Design Course gives each of us the tools to design our dream, and the inspiration to bring it into our, and others, lives in a practical way. Read what others have to say about Koanga Institutes PDC:

“Having the chance to ‘live’ permaculture for two weeks with like-minded people, participating in real and practical sessions, learning from mentors with an amazing depth of knowledge and experience, and eating wonderful nutrient dense food every day made this PDC a truly special experience for me”

“The connection and ‘togetherness’ of the class was greater than I expected. The amazing teachings of Bob and Kay were a big inspiration and their passion for permaculture and nutrition really transmits their energy towards students.”

“Being able to go outside and practice what we’d learnt in the classroom, this kind of teaching is rare and unique. Being right in the midst of what permaculture is about and experiencing it first hand was what made this two weeks”

“Thanks a lot for all the information, inspiration and the sharing of stories from your journey. A long list in my head and a lot of what I learned really resonated with me. The course was well balanced in terms of permaculture, nutrient dense food and biointensive gardening. A truly holistic experience. Again, many thanks.” Jenny “The course was so exciting for me on many different levels, I learnt so much more than I ever anticipated.  The permaculture teaching was beautifully woven along with a strong Weston A Price approach to food, and Kay’s very specific knowledge on gardening techniques to grow nutritious food we all need. It was an amazing holistic blend of wisdom, knowledge, spiritual, emotional and practical components.   It gave me a vision for a future that I’m excited about.” aroha KJ “The Koanga Institute permaculture design course; It’s the wakeup call we all need to stimulate our awareness of living sustainably on our world. Before I took the PDC with Kay and Bob (and the rest of the team), I was very much a lost and confused soul. I knew our farming practices in NZ were all wrong, and fruit and veg in the shops were lifeless, but I didn’t know where to concentrate my energy. Through this course I was introduced to all the in’s and out’s of permaculture with its intertwining principles, strategies and techniques. Given Kay and Bob’s experience and enthusiasm for the course content, I learnt more than I ever thought possible, and have walked away with a clear mind and a dream to fulfill.…and the food was amazing! You won’t want to leave. I recommend this course to anyone who cares about the Earth we are passing on to the future generations.” Helen “This course was more than I thought a permaculture course would be. It was not just learning what is permaculture all about, from ethics to techniques, it was the possibility to see and learn how Kay, Bob and their family are living a sustainable and self sufficient way. I really enjoyed the alternation between theoretical and practical sessions, the competent teachings, the relaxed atmosphere, the gorgeous food. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into permaculture in the future.” Thomas

Please note: The course will be confirmed two weeks before it begins. If circumstances prevent us the workshop from going ahead, enrollment fees will be refunded in full.

Cancellation Policy: Students who cancel their place at a workshop with more than two weeks notice will be given an 85% refund, however cancellations after this time can only be refunded 50% of the course fee. Cancellations with less than 48 hours, no refund can be given.