Whangārei's first eco-neighbourhood is doing a big reveal on Saturday, November 21.
Whangārei District Council has given the Ahi Wai eco-village the go-ahead and plans for the 7700sq m site at the Regent will be available to anyone who's interested.
"We're inviting anyone who might be keen to know what co-housing and community living is all about to come along to our open day," says Shaun Davison, co-founder of Ahi Wai.
Davison is promising a day packed with "wholesome korero and music" - and a major drawcard will be the launch of a book written by the founder of Earthsong, the first eco-neighbourhood in New Zealand.
Robin Allison, an Auckland architect who specialised in sustainable housing, started work on Earthsong in Ranui, West Auckland, 25 years ago.
She readily admits the concept took 12-13 years to develop and construct but the resulting 32-house village, using shared resources and facilities such as a community kitchen, workshops and gardens, has achieved its main goal of enabling its residents "to be more connected as neighbours".
A finalist in 2009 of the World Habitat Awards and United Nations Habitat Awards, Allison has written "Cohousing for Life: A personal story of Earthsong Eco-neighbourhood" to not just describe her journey but to encourage others to consider the concept of social and sustainable living.
Another keynote speaker will be Tim Gittos of Space Craft Architects, which has designed the eco-village on a hillside between the Kamo shared path and Whangarei Boys' High School.
Gittos will offer an overview of the village design and its 18 houses in a variety of forms, scale and densities, explaining their passive-solar designs and how private outdoor spaces transition into shared spaces.
Kaumātua Fred Tito will begin proceedings with a whakatau at 10am.
Need to know
What: Ahi Wai Open Day:
When: Saturday, November 21
Where: 13b Cross Street, Regent, Whangarei
10am: Whakatau with kaumatua Fred Tito, and Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai
11am: Talk by Tim Gittos of Space Craft Architects
12 noon: Glint Goldie, builder, Whangarei Construction
1pm: Launch of Robin Allison's book Cohousing For Life
2pm: The Spectacles Ukulele Band