Get a lawyer, journalist, mediator, artist and astronomer together and you may wonder what their common thread is. The answer may surprise; a composting loo, grey water waste collection system and ultra-fast fibre internet connection.
On the outskirts of Whanganui city a group of like-minded people have bought 12 hectares of rural land to develop an environmentally sustainable community. They all own their own homes, but the bulk of the land is shared and available for orchards, gardens, firewood trees, wetlands and stock.
Richard Thompson and Laurel Stowell are some of the key drivers of the development. “After 27 years of living as a typical family, we think now is a good time to live in a community setting with friends around us,” Laurel says.
Both are adamant they keep interests and their work life away from Delhi Village so they’re not living in each other’s pockets, but they enjoy the shared atmosphere.
Laurel and Richard have built a very eco-friendly house while others are moving old homes onto the land and slowly doing them up. Richard says it’s important that money doesn’t limit people from buying into the project. “It’s not a retirement home, we want young families to come and be part of the place as well.”