Over the three decades the themes of the gatherings have reflected the changing face of social and environmental change work, both here and abroad. We have enjoyed input from many keynote speakers including American activist Fran Peavey (who wrote the book that inspired the name of the first gathering), Australian deep ecologist John Seed, veteran NZ peace campaigner Sonja Davies, former Green Party leader Rod Donald, former NZ Governor General Sir Paul Reeves, social activists John Minto and Jane Kelsey, and prominent NZ historians Tony Simpson and Michael King.

Open Space

The gatherings have been inspired and fed by the lives and stories of its participants. In 1999 Dale Hunter introduced the Heart Politics community to Open Space Technology. Over the last twenty years Heart Politics has developed its own version of this simple social process that allows the participants to co-create the event they are at, rather than having too much of the programme created for them.


Each daily programme brings with it an alive marketplace of workshops on everything from holistic health to strategic questioning, conflict resolution and networking, men’s and women’s issues, green dollars, various psychotherapies, permaculture, co-housing, facilitation, organisational development, climate change issues, and social enterprise.

For more information or to register for the gathering, email us at

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