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About Us

Who is involved in Heart Politics?

The Heart Politics Education Collective is a not-for-profit group who convene Heart Politics gatherings and support the Heart Politics network in New Zealand.

Heart Politics is a diverse collection of social entrepreneurs, educators, community change agents, artists, parents, children, thinkers, and doers. It exists to network and support anyone working for community change, to evolve ideas and promote ways to speak across difference, and to celebrate the many alternatives that are always available when creative, committed and open-hearted people meet together for long enough to get beyond their personal agendas.

What are Heart Politics?

You’ll get as many answers to this question as there are people at our gatherings.  Consequently there are a number of ways of responding to the question…

  • Heart Politics centres around a self-generating gathering, with people taking the initiative to offer sessions, volunteer for tasks, be on the organizing group, etc.
  • Heart Politics is about the transformation that can occur when social and political change happens in tandem with personal change. Many of our political and social problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that has caused these problems. We must make a fundamental shift in consciousness in order to find solutions to these problems. This fundamental change in consciousness comes from our hearts.
  • Heart Politics strategies emphasise the building of deeper connections between people who are otherwise divided over particular political or social issues. It looks for strategies and ways of working that are beyond the “them versus us” or “right versus left” polarities of present politics. It seeks to bring the heart qualities of goodwill, co-operation and integrity into the decisions of power holders and governments of our communities.
  • Many people involved in Heart Politics are not interested in running for any form of public office – they are more likely to be taking direct action in a particular field. This direct action may be in employment, health, housing, all sorts of education initiatives, parenting, environmental action, anti-racism, anti-nuclear, peace groups or whatever.

 Thinking Like Water – voices of Heart Politics

The attached paper is a personal reflection on the history of Heart Politics, a New Zealand social change gathering and its personal and social therapeutic effect since 1989. The piece is written by Mark Skelding, a former co-ordinator and ex-trustee of these Gatherings, and includes interviews with attenders.

Paper by Mark Skelding