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Summer Gathering 2014

8-12 January 2014

Huia: between harbour and ocean


The 2014 Summer Gathering was held at Huia, using the Kiwanis and Huia Lodges, part of the Auckland Regional Parks network.

The Kiwanis site, with cabins, meeting space and a dining room, is centred around the Victorian homestead that was once the owner’s house for a nearby logging operation. Across the road, the old schoolhouse provides another large meeting space and additional cabin accommodation.

Click here for a photo album of the sites.


Heart Politics runs best on satisfied stomachs, and those of us who attended recent Gatherings held at Port Waikato, Huia and the Kauearanga Valley near Thames will know how well Jennifer Neale and Aroha Catering put together great meals.
This year we look forward to a wonderful range of nutritious and delicious fare. Jennifer creates “Food that truly looks after people”. Visit Aroha Catering’s website for more information:  www.arohacatering.co.nz.

Some of the food has been ordered well in advance, and is now looking healthy and green in the Got The Plot Organics fields near Thames.

Guest Participants

Mary-Jayne Rust

The diverse web of life on which we depend, of whom we are part, is in crisis. As a psychotherapist with some 30 years’ experience, Mary-Jayne Rust’s interest is in a psychology in the service of the earth. This is Ecopsychology: a term coined in the early 90s by cultural historian Theodore Roszak.

With the earth in mind, Mary-Jayne presents lectures, workshops and seminars to a wide variety of groups and organisations, as well as offering individual therapy. In these various forms, she explores how ‘ecotherapy’ might help us understand and confront the shadow sides of human nature that have led us to this point of global crisis. And how we might support the genius of human nature to re-imagine our relationship with the earth.

Mary-Jayne’s many years of working in the area of eating problems has informed her wider interest in the roots of consumerism and the cultural links between gender and culture, soul and the land. She is co-editor, with Nick Totton, of Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis. This book explores the unique contribution ecopsychology has to make in heeding the vital signs of global distress and nurturing the vital signs of our systemic psychological healing. See http://www.mjrust.net

Jenny Ritchie

Dr Jenny Ritchie has a background as a child-care educator and kindergarten teacher, followed by 22 years experience in early childhood teacher education. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Early Childhood Teacher Education at Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka – Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.

Her teaching, research, and writing has focused on supporting early childhood educators and teacher educators to enhance their praxis in terms of enacting an awareness of cultural, environmental and social justice issues. She has recently led three consecutive two-year studies funded by the New Zealand Teaching and Learning Research Initiative, focussing on implementing early childhood pedagogies reflecting these commitments.

Her recent publications include “Caring for Ourselves, Others, and the Environment: Applying an Indigenous Paradigm in Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa, New Zealand” in J. Lin & R. Oxford (Eds.), ‘Transformative Eco-Education for Human and Planetary Survival’(pp. 239-253); ‘Bicultural Journeying in Aotearoa’ in D. Caracciolo & A. M. Mungai (Eds.), ‘In the Spirit of Ubuntu – Stories of Teaching and Research’ (pp. 135-146); and ‘Early childhood education as a site of ecocentric counter-colonial endeavour in Aotearoa New Zealand’ in ‘Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood’, 13(2), pp. 86-98.

Iona Winter

Ko Aoraki tōku mauka
Ko Waitaki tōku awa
Ko Moeraki tōku rohe
Ko Uenuku te whare tipuna
Te Ārai-te-uru me Uruao me Helenslee ka waka
Ko Waitaha me Kāi Tahu oku iwi Māori
Ko ka takata Celtic hoki
Ko Iona Winter tōku ingoa.

Iona is a Celtic/Māori registered psychotherapist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa, and specialises in the sexual abuse and trauma field. For twenty years her interests have lain in working holistically, exploring the interconnectedness of Mind, Body, Spirit and Environment to facilitate healing and wellness. Iona’s future vision is that holistic psychotherapy be affordable, accessible and inclusive of indigenous perspectives, and part of mainstream healthcare within Aotearoa.

With post-grad qualifications in MindBody Healthcare (AUT), Social Practice (Unitec) and Traditional Māori Healing, Iona is also a contributing author to Transforming Clinical Practice Using the MindBody Approach: A Radical Integration, (Ed: Brian Broom, Pub: Karnac Books, UK). In her spare time, Iona is partway through writing a novel, actively supports her son’s music career and is encouraging of other like-minded young artists