Buying and Renting

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Living at Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood


Interested in living at Earthsong? Units do become available for purchase or rental regularly, but are in keen demand! It is important for potential residents to understand how the community works and what membership involves.

A strong shared vision and clear group agreements are key elements to achieving social cohesion at Earthsong, and continue to provide the foundation of our ongoing community life.

Our Shared Vision

To establish and maintain a co-housing neighbourhood, based on the principles of permaculture, that will serve as a model of a socially and environmentally sustainable community.

Within this vision, the aims are:

  • To design, construct and maintain a cohesive neighbourhood whose layout, buildings and services demonstrate the highest practical standards of sustainable human settlement.

  • To develop and foster a living environment which uses clear guidelines for communication, decision making and conflict resolution which promote tolerance, safety, respect and co-operation.

  • To assist in education and public awareness of sustainability by demonstrating and promoting innovative community design and environmentally responsible construction.

What is "Earthsong membership"?

All adults (18 and older) who are resident at Earthsong for three months or more (unless they are students living with their parents) must become members of "Earthsong" - which is an unincorporated group. Members have certain rights and responsibilities, outlined in the Membership Agreement.

Beginning the process of becoming a member before you make the decision to move here will help you work out whether living at Earthsong, and participating in the day-to-day tasks involved in maintaining a co-housing eco-neighbourhood, is something you would enjoy.

What is the Earthsong Body Corporate?

The Earthsong Body Corporate is a legal entity that exists to allow the 32 unit owners to manage and pay for shared property in a Unit Titles situation.

A body corporate has very clear rules, for example regarding alterations, construction, use of certain materials, and landscaping etc. on your private property. Every owner is required to consult the Body Corporate before making changes to their private property.

The Earthsong Body Corporate and Membership are tightly connected. Almost all legal duties of a Body Corporate are fulfilled cooperatively, and almost all tasks are covered by our Focus Groups and decided in Full Group meetings by the members.

Prerequisites for Membership

It is a great idea to start the process towards membership before you decide to live here. The prerequisites for membership are:

1. Attending a Public Tour, or a privately arranged tour through the Education Collective (which includes payment of a fee to the Collective).

2. Notifying the Membership Coordinator (E: membership-enquiry@earthsong.org.nz) of your interest in living here. You will then be assigned a Host who will invite you to Earthsong events. Your Host will also explain what is involved in actively participating in day-to-day tasks required to run a co-housing eco-neighbourhood, including:

  • Belonging to focus groups

  • Attending full group meetings and observing our decision-making process

  • Keeping informed via the Full Group email list

  • Participating in working bees, cooking teams and guardianship roles

  • Using Earthsong facilities responsibly

  • Paying Earthsong related charges promptly

  • Accepting past Earthsong decisions (there are processes to reopen these)

  • Honouring Communication and other past Agreements

  • Willingness to commit to a dispute resolution process, if a dispute arises.

3. Reading “Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities”, 2011, by Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant

4. Attending two Full Group Meetings (these occur monthly)

5. Purchasing a Unit or signing a Rental Agreement on an Earthsong unit.

6. Paying a membership contribution ($100.00).

7. Signing the Membership Agreement.


Before you sign a Sales and Purchase Agreement or a Residential Tenancy Agreement

Because it is important to the cohesion of our community, you you are encouraged to meet with one of our Membership Co-ordinators.
e: membership-enquiry@earthsong.org.nz.

We'll go over the rights and responsibilites of Earthsong Members, including the Membership Agreement (version 4 May 2016) and the Body Corporate Rules (version 15 October 2016) and we'll answer your questions. Our goal is to make sure you have all the information you need to decide if you will enjoy living here.

Group Decision Making Process

Once you are a Member, you are entitled to participate in making decisions about the way we live as a community. Decision-making is by consensus and coloured cards are used to facilitate expression of varying view-points. Our decision-making processes are designed to give every member a voice. Becoming a member of Earthsong involves agreeing to accept past decisions. (There are defined processes for reopening these.)

Communication and Other Agreements

Earthsong has an established set of Communication Agreements designed to enhance harmony in the community.

Agreements have also been made on a range of other aspects of living together as a community.

It is important for prospective members to familiarise themselves with these Agreements as far as possible before making a decision to live here