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Wilderland Community in New Zealand Under threat  RSS feed

 
Simeon McLean
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Kia Ora from Wilderland,

My name is Simeon McLean and I am a trustee and resident of the wilderland trust and I have come today to let you know a bit about the trust, our intentions, history and the struggle which is currently threatening our existance.

(for admins: I'm not sure if this is in the right place but if not please either migrate it or let me know where I should go with it.)

Who are we?

Wilderland is a charitable Trust (Registration CC29221) based in Aotearoa New Zealand which aims to inspire people to live sustainably by demonstrating practices which enhance the environment and personal development. While we do not consider ourselves to be an "intentional community" per se, we embody a lot of the inherent principles and concepts bound in intentional community. Wilderland was gifted as an educational trust in 1992 by the founders Dan and Edith Hansen to 'enable the work which has commenced here to be carried on and broadened...' (D. Hansen). They are no longer with us but their legacy continues and organic food has now been grown here for over 50 years, nourishing the people of Wilderland and the wider local community.

Wilderland is an example of sustainable living in action. A unique eduction centre were all kinds of people come to learn about land stewardship, food security and self reliance through participating in organic farming, land management and cooperative living.

Our Current Situation

Wilderland's continued success as a living example of sustainability is being threatened due to the local council's demand of over $30,000 to be paid by the end of the month in retrospective development fees.

The fees came initially two years ago when the homes of Wilderland residents were given resource consent due to upgrading and renovations. This work was required after the council removed residents from their homes in the middle of winter and threatened to demolish them. The council saw fit to include development contribution fees for the initial construction of the buildings, some of which predate the council ever implementing these fees.

Since the initial serving of charges Wilderland has paid off $10,000 of this fee through the income generated selling honey, produce and crafts at local markets and our modest roadside shop. Wilderland has attempted to negotiate a payment plan with the council but have been unable to reach a compromise.

Last month a statutory demand for the outstanding amount was issued demanding payment immediately with an attached threat of the forced sale of the land. In response to this we have started looking at alternative funding options including a crowd funding effort to try to raise this money as soon as possible.

If you know any people who may be interested in donating to our cause, helping to protect this precious land, please share the campaign to them, through social media or direct contact as every person who sees this may take us one step closer to being able to clear this debt.

Looking to the future

Wilderland has been going through a strong revisioning process over the last year, reassessing our intentions and perspectives and aiming to bring our practice into line with the specifics set out in the trust deed. This process has illuminated some of the visions we have for the future of wilderland. We aim to improve facilities for the volunteers who come here every day from all over the world. this will take on the form of a new visitor house with integrated facilities to hold workshops and lessons on every aspect of our existence.

We are also continuing to develop new systems and methodologies for decreasing our footprint, increasing self sufficiency and working towards creating a truly sustainable space for the benefit of all. included in this is a desire to document all of our methods so that others can learn and impliment these methods wherever they may happen to exist in the world.

More information

Information about different aspects of our project are available at our website www.wilderland.org.nz or you can email us at contact|at|wilderland.org.nz. Further to this the campaign for our current fundraising push is online at www.igg.me/at/wilderland please consider sharing this with those you know and even donating if you have a spare dollar or two.
 
Simeon McLean
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Update 01 August 2014

As of today we have had sufficient private donations through our bank accounts to top up our total high enough to clear the debt! We are incredibly grateful to all who have contributed to the campaign and are happy to announce that through the efforts and generosity of our supporters all over the world Wilderland is now safe from the councils demands and can continue to push forward.

This doesn't mean the fundraising has to stop though. As discussed in the updates section we are going to put any excess funds generated during the remainder of the crowd funding campaign towards building our new visitor house. This is the next step in turning Wilderland into a truly world class education center and hive of sustainability. So if you believe in this goal by all means continue to donate and watch Wilderland grow and change the world.

Cheers to all who helped out.

Simeon
 
Leila Rich
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Congratulations Simeon!
I've never been to the Coromandel; when I finally do, I look forward to visiting Wilderland-it sounds awesome
 
Francisco Gonzalez
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Simeon McLean wrote:Update 01 August 2014

As of today we have had sufficient private donations through our bank accounts to top up our total high enough to clear the debt!



Congratulations on raising the money to pay off the debt. However you now need to take action to make sure this doesn't happen again. So let me summarize what I think happened only I will use different words than you did in describing what happened.

1. A local group of people threatened you with violence (sale of your land) and you responded by quickly handing over, over $30,000 NZD. Am I right about the substance of what happened?

In New York City, when this happens we call it racketeering and a mob shakedown. People who do this kind of extortion are criminals and the world is full of them. If the groups are relatively small, we call them organized crime. If the groups are bigger, they call themselves government.

If you don't want this to happen again soon, you need to take proactive action right now to put these thieves psychologically in your debt.

You haven't made peace with them until they owe you a favor and they know it!

First you need to read, "Influence, the Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini.

http://www.amazon.com/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Robert-Cialdini/dp/006124189X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406996648&sr=1-1&keywords=influence

Then immediately take action to make sure that every council member and every "official" involved or likely to be involved owes you and your group a favor.

Yes, this will be difficult after they just stole $30,000 from you, but you have to do it otherwise they will be shaking you down again soon.

Good luck.
 
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