RECAP update September/October

Kia ora, from the RECAP team. 

Christmas Hampers 

RECAP are working with representatives from the Ashhurst Memorial RSA and the Ashhurst Food Bank again this year to provide hampers of Christmas food for some of our community. 

We have a box in the window of the Ashhurst Community Library (look for the tinsel!) for donations of various shelf stable items for these hampers.

Items we would like are: Christmas puddings, Christmas mince tarts, chocolate biscuits, fizzy drink, juice, passionfruit syrup, tinned fruit and chocolates. Contributions can be placed in the box during library opening hours.

If you have any questions about the Christmas Hampers, you can contact Marianne on 027 627 2054 or


Some info from the Emergency Preparedness Seminar we held on September 6th. We have left some resources at the library including a new guide for lifestyle block owners in our area. The library has a reference copy and also info on how to download it. Our local fire department does home visits where they assess fire risk and advise on what you can do to minimise these risks. You can contact them directly to enquire about this free service. RECAP will be following up with the PNCC to create a list of community groups and volunteers and to gather resources to aid in our community response to any future emergency situation. If you’d like to be involved please contact us. For those in Pohangina, you can contact: 

Ruahine Whio Protection Trust fundraising calendars for 2024

These are $20 and have beautiful photography from a number of  local photographers. To purchase a calendar and support the trust with the vital work they do, please contact:

A message from chairperson Janet Wilson: 

“The Ruahine Whio Protection Trust raises funds to support the volunteer led trapping work helping to  protect  the endangered Whio (Blue Duck) population in the Ruahine Range, particularly on the western side. Your support is now even more appreciated as we no longer have Department of Conservation funding via their Community Conservation Fund.  Volunteers work hard locally in the Oroua and Pohangina Rivers which hold the southernmost whio population in the North Island”.      


Ngā mihi nui to Noel Birchall for building and donating the beautiful Tui feeder in the community garden next to the library. It’s been super popular with our feathered friends. And another ngā mihi nui to Ross and Jill at the library for keeping the feeder full!


We'd like to give also give a quick signal boost to

They facilitate a number of excellent educational opportunities, from short entry level courses to more in depth learning on a number of topics (agriculture/horticulture/apiculture/pest control and more).

They are currently enrolling students for their level four Sustainable Primary Production course, which includes some permaculture based content. As RECAP/Slow Farm are not offering the Permaculture Design Course at present, this is a fantastic local alternative.

This course is FEES FREE if you enrol before September 30th 2023 (enrolments after this date will have a fee of $490) and can be done full time or part time.


The last RECAP Crop Swap for the year is Saturday October 28th from 11am-1pm  at the Ashhurst library. This is a free sharing event, where you don't need to give in order to take or vice versa. It’s a great spot to bring the fruit from the trees you can't keep up with or to offload some of your glut or excess seedlings. Or just show up to collect the bounty from other gardens. There is often a lot of great kōrero on various gardening topics, so bring your questions, too.


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Noho ora mai

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RECAP Community Kai turns two!

RECAP Community Kai turned two on August 21st! Two years of feeding our community and diverting food from landfill. This service relies heavily on volunteers, so a huge ngā mihi to everyone who has lent a hand (too many to name at this point!) And a huge ngā mihi to Just Zilch - Food Rescue & Free Store for their support from the beginning, Mission for Men who came on board to assist with donations, DKSH distribution and everyone who has offered koha. 

The Ashhurst Sharing Shelf

The Ashhurst Community Library is home to the Ashhurst Sharing shelf. This is a place to share any excess food or gardening items. We ask that you please refrain from leaving any other items, and do not leave food products that need refridgeration, or that are past their best before dates.

This sharing shelf is attached to the garage in the library garden, just behind the picket fence and sheltered from the weather. This is to the left of the garden gates once you enter.

As part of its ongoing commitment to building resilience and engaging the community, RECAP members have created this facility and will oversee its use.  Please make use of the shelved with these requests in mind:

Share your excess
Reduce waste
Only take what you can use
Clean up rotting produce
Keep it tidy

Waste produce will be composted if not taken.  

Follow The Ashhurst Sharing Shelf on facebook for updates on what's on the shelf.


Happy Volunteer Week 2023.

It’s Volunteer Week! Volunteers are the backbone of RECAP, and to show what we mean here’s some stats for you:

In the 2022-2023 financial year RECAP projects, services and events were made possible by 1265 (documented) volunteer hours from just over 100 people. As we generally rely on people to self report these, we estimate the actual number to be much higher.

How these hours were spent:

Ashhurst Library Community Garden and King’s Reserve: 65 hours

Olsson Community Orchard: 113 hours

McCrae’s Bush: 290 hours

Governance/meetings/administration: 218 hours

Events (workshops e.t.c): 52 hours

Trapping: 108 hours

The Seed Library: 20 hours

RECAP Community Kai: 360.5 hours

Miscellaneous: 38.5 hours

RECAP would also like to give an extra special thank you to the following extra special people:

Phil Stevens.

Sharon Stevens.

Lance Fitness, Dianne McConnel, Margie Rogers, Peter Todd and Julie Doyle for their tireless work at McCrae’s bush.

RECAP Community Kai volunteers: Angela Mills, Gwendi Knight, Helen Williams, Jo Smith, Mackenzie Grant, Dianne Bennett, Kaye Isles, Kim Mills, Karina Jackson, Adrianne Harding, Suzanne and Adelle Ballantyne, Julie Gillam-Hill.

Ian Rasmussen and volunteers for their mahi with the TrAP project.

Bonnie and Neal Rider

Hayden Smith

And finally, our board: Harvey Jones (chairperson) Anne Van-Brunt (secretary) Suzanne Chelius (deputy chairperson) Aaron Roberts, Ellen Wansbrough, Saige Madgwick and Jenna Fisher.

We are so immensely grateful to each and every person who has given their time, energy, expertise and passion to our organisation. Thank you all so much.

RECAP Seminars and Workshops

Each year we aim to offer a range of workshops, seminars, talks and films that are grounded in the Permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share

Over the last few years we have run workshops on an ever increasing list of subjects. These are open to all, and are either free or well subsidised.

We run three annual workshops: summer pruning, winter pruning and composting.

Some of the workshops, seminars and volunteer opportunities we have offered: solar power, sourdough, seed harvesting & processing, seed sowing, foraging, espalier trees, public clean ups and stream cleaning, drought proofing your garden, natural building, rainwater tanks, backyard poulty keeping, beginner gardening, berm gardening, zero and low waste living, soap making and many, many more.

RECAP is committed to providing education around sustainability and resilience and dedicated to increasing community connectivity in Ashhurst and Pohangina.

Please email us on if you would like to receive our monthly mail out, or like us on facebook to keep up to date with what we are offering


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The RECAP Seed Library

Did you know that RECAP has a seed library within the Ashhurst Community Library?

It is free to register to use for Ashhurst & Pohangina residents and you are able to access 3 packets per month. 

If you save seeds from your garden and have enough to share we would gratefully accept them to distribute. Please contact or drop them off to our wonderful librarians (with as much information about the seeds as you can provide us) and we can package them up and label them for our community.

As we wish for people to be able to continue to collect seeds from their plants, we only ask that you don't donate hybrid seeds (if you have any bought packets it should tell you on the label).

Be involved!

Two volunteers share their experience with beekeeping during a tour

RECAP is a volunteer-led, registered charity (CC50147) with lots of opportunities for meaningful community involvement. As an umbrella organisation for a range of community projects, we would like to enable people with creativity and initiative to take leadership in areas that are supported by our purposes. Please step forward if you would like to develop a project or offer a workshop to benefit the community through RECAP. We also have several well-defined volunteer roles, small and large. Contact us to discuss a volunteer role that might suit you. You can also ask to be put on our mailing list, and we'll let you know about working bees as well as other events like workshops, socials, and more. Most of our events are equally open to both members (living in Ashhurst and the Pohangina Valley area) and non-members. Just send us your name, email address, and mailing address. Our AGM is usually the first Wednesday in June at the Village Valley Centre. Our email: