• OurStory

last modified September 22, 2017 by Gerald1122

Nau mai, haere mai! Welcome home!

Next gathering and other news

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What is this website?


Seasonal Newsmail


OurStory of the Aotearoa rainbow gatherings

This page is for stories, images and impressions from past gathering of the Aotearoa family, as well as a brief account of the origin of the rainbow gathering tradition. ­If anyone has any records (articles, poems, photos, art etc) from our gatherings, or anything else they would like to contribute to this shared story, please do. To find Instructions for editing this site, click on 'What is this website?' above. Here are the rainbow gatherings we know have been held in Aotearoa, starting with the most recent.

Mt SoNNos community, Milnthorpe, Golden Bay, Te Wai Pounamu - Second Matariki winter gathering (June 2017) 

Punakaiki, Te Wai Pounamu - Eighteenth Aotearoa national gathering (26th of February to the 27th of March 2017)

Hey beautiful family!!

The directions to 2017 Te Wai Pounamu gathering...

After exploring different parts of the west coast from Karamea to Punakaiki and meeting some amazing people along the way, we went up the Bullock Creek Road just north of Punakaiki where we came upon a beautiful, wild, vast grassy valley amidst limestone cliffs and caverns...

So we explored this valley and at the end, on the way to Mount Bovis, alongside the pristine fresh bullock creek we came across a magical fantasy land..

To find this place...

About 1-2kms north of Punakaiki, and 54ish kms south of Westport along the west coast highway you will come across Bullock Creek Road, follow this gravel road up the valley 6kms to the carpark.

From there follow the track across the grasslands in the direction of Mt Bovis. 40mins from the carpark you will cross Bullock Creek. From here continue along the track, or follow the river for another 10-15minutes.

Keep your heart, ears and eyes open and you shall find home.

Please be aware family, as always, when in the wild, mother nature reminds us of just how wild she can be..

This valley is prone to very quick rising water levels and potentially dangerous floods. There is a lot of marshland, various sink holes and at some point bullock creek just dissapears underground...

The  gathering site/sites are safe, from flooding and there is plenty of high ground, but the river and road may flood so prepare to be either in or out in case of high rains.

The bullock creek road will be closed in cases of flooding or water damage and the gate may be closed or locked (from the highway). In this case i would recommend finding alternate parking as there is not much place beside the highway. It may be a good idea to talk to local people and ask permission to park on our outside their land.

This adds an extra 6kms to the walk in.

The closest places for food and fuel are either Westport (54kms north) or Greymouth (45kms south).

Westport there is a small organic store called Ko Minaya Wholefoods on the main road and supermarkets

In Greymouth there are larger supermarkets and a larger organic store called The Cooks Pantry on Guinness Street.

Josh is in Christchurch and can do bulk buying in 2 portions.. Please get hold of him if you can help and want to be involved with this :)

As there was no magic hat left over from the Pohongina Valley gathering we are starting from scratch so please come with energy, intention, and abundance so we may begin seeding well nourished and with high energy  :)

Arohanui family and well see you all soooon!! (Written by our sister Lucia).

Pohangina Valley, Palmerston North, Te Ika a Maui - Seventeenth Aotearoa national gathering - Summer (14 December 2016 - 14 January 2017) .

Kia Ora Whanau, good afternoon family,
The two other scouts and I have agreed to a consensus on the location of the North Island Rainbow Gathering and so forth I am honored to let you know that we have successfully found a place for our formidable family to gather on.

We are now entering in the seeding part of the Gathering. Everyone which is keen on working hard to build up the energy is welcome ; we need tools as well : spades, shovels, saws, axes, hatchets, pickaxes,...
The following items are more than welcome : fabric, big pots / pans, ropes, tarps, barbecue grills (or anything to cook safely on a flat surface), music instruments (with the players ;) ), love, courage and whatever could serve the community from your perspective...

The Gathering site is located on a land which hosts a family of wild cows, we suspect a family of wild pigs as well, a very large family of mosquitoes (you really want to consider bringing some mosquitoes repellent if you have a delicious sweet blood) and a very large range of different native birds (you might want to bring some binoculars for birdwatching).

We would like to communicate that there is not many parking spots around the site, we then encourage RIDESHARES and HITCHHIKING! Be aware that accessing the site requires crossing a river.

To access the site : from Ashhurst, take Cambridge Avenue for approximately 10 km, turn right onto Pohangina Valley East Road, drive for approximately 12 km, look up for the entrance of the Gilchrist and Pettifar walk (left-hand side of the road). Park at the entrance of the walk. To join the site, walk the Gilchrist walk until the path allows you to go either straight or right. Take the path on your right, follow up to the river. From this bank of the river, just shout and one of us will come help you and guide you to the site!

The closest network coverage : Ashhurst
The closest city : Palmerston North
You might want to write down those few REALLY important addresses :
Pak'n'save : 32 Ferguson Street, Palmerston North
Organic Living Healthfoods : 337 Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North
Midcentral sexual health service : Heretaunga Street, Roslyn, Palmerston North
(please check up for your sexual health if have any doubts, it's FREE)

I would as well like to acknowledge my recognition for the trust that has been given to us scouts.

Love, Light and Unity <3See you in 5 minutes lovely beings!

[By our brother Romain Lits]

[Full Moon: 16th of December]


Whangarei, Te Ika a Maui - Sixteenth Aotearoa national gathering - Autumn (9th of March to the 7th of April 2016)

A site has been found near Whangarei.  Directions.  The site is at 269 Waiotu Road, north of Whangarei. Turnoff State Highway 1 at Hukerenui, on to  Tapuhi Road (on the right going north), stay on Tapuhi Road, go past Waiotu Block Road,  then turn right at Nelson Road into Waiotu Road. The site is at the end of this road. Waiotu Road is 14 kms from the SH1 and should take a ½ hour by car. Please note: Keep a careful watch for other traffic, which may include logging trucks. [Full Moon: 24th of March)

Rapphannock Valley, Murchison, Te Wai Pounamu - Fifteenth Aotearoa national gathering - Summer (10th of January to the 9th of February 2016.

Kia ora whanau. Great news. A site has been found for the Te Wai Pounamu (South Island) rainbow gathering.

It's a majestic barefoot and child friendly wonderland. Shaded open forest and wide open fields with a playful river winding through.

The site is at the back of the valley to the place we gathered for the world rainbow in 2009. It uses the same entrance and car park but at the last river crossing after the walk in turn left up the river. To get there follow SH 65 between Springs Junction and Murchison then take the Rappahannock Valley Road, [the] car park is at the entrance to Caves Road.

Welcome home. (By our sister Annalee)[Slightly abridged].

Karamea River Valley, Karamea, Te Wai Pounamu - Fourteenth Aotearoa national gathering - Late Summer (March 2015)

Next gathering in Karamea, west coast or the south island.

Seed camp - new moon to full moon Feb 2015

Main gathering - Full moon to new moon March 2015 .

Directions: the site is at the end of Umere road , 8 ks from the Karamea petrol station , so enter Karamea , pass the Global Gypsy shop on your right , turn right after petrol station on Umere road , 8 kms, pass the creek, pass the metal gate, keep on going and you' ll see the parking.


Tua te Awa, Coromandel, Te Ika a Maui - Thirteenth Aotearoa national gathering - Summer (22nd of December 2014 to 20th of january 2015)

 Kiaora whanau!

After a beautiful month on the Kauearanga river and a powerful vision circle a group of us traveled to the north east of Coromandel to Tuateawa where we were invited to scout of the next Aotearoa Rainbow Gathering. The land there is very powerful, forest clad mountains down to rocky coastline, the clearing has a spring and overlooks the sea to one side and endless forest to the other. We sat in meditation on the hillside and felt Tane, Tangaroa, Rangimarie and Papatuanuku welcoming us to the land and on our walk back down circled and made a consensus for the gathering to begin on the 22nd of December 2014 for new moon, with full moon on the 5th of January 2015 and new moon again on the 20th of January.

This land is open for people to come and prepare gardens for an abundant organic crop to nourish us while we gather. At any time throughout the year help will be needed to prepare the soil and in the spring from august planting will begin, organic and heritage seeds are welcome as a koha to the project. There is a 8 m tipi there that can be used as accommodation and the possibility for house bus or cabin and plenty of tent space with spectacular views.

To get to Tuteawa go just passed Coromandel town and turn east toward Kennedy Bay, wind over the hill and go through Kennedy Bay, go over the next hill and you will get to a little bridge and meet the coastline, the land on your left is where the gathering will be. There is a blue/green house bus and the next driveway is John and Celias house where you can find family.

Love and Blessings



Kauearanga Valley, Thames, Coromandel - Twelfth Aotearoa national gathering - Summer (2nd of January to the 31st of January 2014)

Haere mai Haere mai Haere mai!

A vision has been held and shared with consensus for the next New Zealand Rainbow gathering.

Seed camp from New Moon on the 2nd of January with a peak of Full Moon to open the main gathering on the 16th - 31st January.

Bring your love, joy, songs, camping gear, things to share, your tribe,Tipi's, cooking pots, tarps and ropes, instruments, art, work shop ideas,magic, things to heal, prayers, things to let go of and space to gain something new.

Check the web site for more information on Rainbow gatherings in Aoteraroa and what to bring and leave behind and the location of this summers gathering.

(By our sister Annalee).

Cobb Valley, Takaka, Te Tai Tapu - Eleventh Aotearoa national gathering - Late Summer (22nd of February to the 6th of April 2012)

 Scouting is complete and we have found consensus at the scout meeting in Takaka on a location.

The site is in the beautiful Cobb Valley, at the end of the Cobb Reservoir. One hour hike off the road into pure beauty. Directions from Takaka:

Head South from Takaka towards Upper Takaka. At Upper Takaka, turn right onto Aaron Creek Road and turn right as it becomes Cobb Valley Road. Follow it on the right to stay on Cobb Valley road at the next intersection. Cobb Valley Road will become Cobb Dam Road. Follow this road all the way down to the Reservoir and turn left. Drive to the end of the reservoir to Trilobite Hut and follow the walking path set out there towards Chaffey's Hut. It's about an hour's hike in. The site is in the third major clearing on the right hand side. Look for signs.

Here's the Google Maps version:


Clean and clear water for drinking
Nice Swimming
Loads of fire wood
Wicked clearing for main circle
1 hour hike from vehicle access
Surrounded by nature

Seed camp has begun so if you want to be a part, get down and help. Otherwise, we will see you when the gathering starts on March 8th. Thank you everyone for your support. See you soon.

SEED CAMP 22nd February - 8th March
MAIN GATHERING 8th March - 6th April

(By our brother River.) 



Kauearanga Valley, Thames, Coromandel  - Tenth Aotearoa national gathering - Mid-Summer (8th of February to the 8th of March 2012)

"Haere mai haere mai haere mai te whanau uenuku!

Rainbow brothers Eben, Ian, and Koru are calling the rainbow family to a gathering on their land - Feb full moon to March full moon 2012 - and beyond...
Bring your love, your joy, your music, your seeds, your songs to the Kauearanga Valley near Thames, Coromandel, te Ika a Maui
Just look for the Rainbows....
Theres a beautiful river, lots of lush land, an organic feijoa orchard next door, welcome to come and gather - Rainbow family come together, let's keep spreading the light in Aotearoa and amp up the vibe for 2012 - In Love We Shall Rise...
Vego - Drug Free - No electrickery - Pet Free
Focaliser: Eben - poolsunwater(at)yahoo.com
Blessed be!"

[Seed Camp February 8th - 22nd
Main Gathering 22nd Feb - 8th March


Honeymoon Valley, Kaitaia, Te Tai Tokerau - Ninth Aotearoa national gathering - Early Summer (Dec 2011/ Jan 2012)

The period following the world gathering was a time of regrounding and reflection. Various visions were hinted at for another national gathering, including a suggestion  but none of the seeds took root until late 2011, when Annalee put out the call for another gathering in her turangawaewae of Te Tai Tokerau.

Many of the whānau were involved in the Occupy Aotearoa movement, which kicked off on October 15 with protest occupations of public squares and parks around the country, and this was one of the networks through which word of the gathering spread. Consequently, most of those who made it to Honeymoon Valley had been involved in one or more of the occupations, and most of them were exhausted, and frustrated by the difficulties of trying to live up to potential they'd seen in the occupations to spark off a grassroots movement for consensus democracy in our country. This gathering was a good opportunity to reflect on the successes and failure of the occupations, and what we'd learned from them as free human beings of this earth, and nodes in a network of love and light within the wider earth defence movements.

The world gathering had given us a fresh sense of the way rainbow families operate around the world, both the depth of the commonalities and the breadth of the different approaches taken in different parts of the world. One consensus which emerged was that we need to be sticking to the kaupapa of the vision circle at the end of each gathering, where consensus on rough dates and a region of the country for the next gathering. This way, whānau who choose not to use hi-tech communications (internet, phone etc) have as much time as possible to hear about the next gathering by word of mouth, knowing the key information will not be changed by online discussion. Any information about the gatherings passed through the internet can only widen the circle, opening a portal for brothers and sisters to come to their first gathering, not change the decision made by rainbow family on the land. Consensus was reached in Honeymoon Valley to hold the next national gathering in Golden Bay, at the end of that same summer.

Rappahannock Valley, Te Kopi o Kaitangata, Te Wai Pounamu - Tenth world rainbow gathering Dec 2009/ Jan 2010

These news updates were put up to keep the whanau informed about the world gathering 2009/10

News - 19 Dec, 2009: The new site has been found, a unanimous consensus emerged on the land, with NO discussion required! :) We are in the Victoria Forest Park, in the heart of Te Wai Pounamu (the south island), near te Kopi o Kaitangata (Lewis Pass), and about 2 1/2 hours from Mawhera (Greymouth), Whakatu (Nelson), or Otautahi (Christchurch). The closest international airport is Christchurch Airport.

Access to the site is up the Rappahannock Valley, on Highway 65, about 30km north of Springs Junction or 54km south of Murchison. Turn east onto Rappahannock Rd, which is 10km north of Maruia Village. Car park is about 3km along, visible from the road.

The streams we are gathering by are tributaries of the Rappahannock River. Wikipedia claims that "The name "Rappahannock" comes from the Algonquian word lappihanne (also noted as toppehannock), meaning 'river of quick, rising water' or 'where the tide ebbs and flows.'". So, plan for wet weather, as well as sun. Although sandflies are few so far, bring plenty of all-natural insect repellent. Due to fire risk, communal fires only, approved by talking circle. Bring strong food containers to keep out rats and mice. Bring tarps and pots and tools. Bring musical instruments, and good things to share, and love and light. leave your drugs, alcohol, electronic devices, dogs, chainsaws, and helicopters at home.

Seed Camp activities are being rushed along, the gathering is starting! All family are called to come welcome the land, and start seeds for a beautiful gathering. Magic hat is in need of love, send to aotearoacaravan @ gmail.com via http://www.paypal.com. (Strypey)

News - 12 Dec, 2009: I have just come from the base camp at the rained out gathering site (Doughboy Creek). Arohanui to everyone who was part of this rainbow adventure in South Westland.

Everyone is out of the main site now, all are safe, warm, and fed, if still a little damp ;) River was still impasable, so magic hat paid for a helicopter to bring them out. All gear except a few tipi poles came out of the site with them, no problems. Welcome home camp has also been packed up and carried out to base camp, except for a tipi and a tarp which need to dry out. The rest of this update can be found in the email list archives. (Strypey)

News - 2 Dec, 2009: Seed camp for the world rainbow gathering starts today. For answers to frequently asked questions about the this world gathering, click on the link above. Strypey put out his last seasonal newsmail last Saturday. You can read it in the email list archives.

A couple more pieces of news spent some time on the front of the hopepage after the world gathering, a time of exhaustion and reflection for many of the local rainbow focalizers, especially because less than a year after that gathering, Ōtautahi was hit by a series of catastrophic earthquakes.

Breaking News - 8 Sept, 2010:  Cloud texted me today from Otautahi, about a proposed rainbow relief camp:

"Calling all rainbows, gather all your information and ideas and come together at 97 Scarborough Tce, Sumner, from 6pm tonight, for a pot-luck tea and chat about prepare..."

He and others are focalising an effort to:
"get a camp going that we could build showers etc and kitchens and help people who are becoming homeless".

News -  8 June, 2010: Matariki is nearly rising! Time to put the past year to rest, and envision what the new year holds for us in Aotearoa. Will there be a gathering this summer? Kaimanawa (Desert Rd area) and Motu Aotea (Great Barrier Island) were suggested as possibilities as the world gathering last summer. Any scouts who want to put forward ideas, or reports, can send them to the email list, or make a CoActivate account, and add them to the 'next gathering' page linked above. (Strypey)

Update - 18 Apr, 2010: As usual, the gathering featured many talented (and some less) musicians and singers. A few audio clips from heart songs at the gathering can be heard on this page about rainbow songs, and Isaac's banjo can be heard on this page about rainbow culture. Most of the rest disappeared into the ether. (Playful)


Kahurangi National Park, Te Tai Tapu (Golden Bay) - Eighth Aotearoa national gathering - Nov/ Dev 2007

The 2007 summer gathering was the first time te whānau uenuku had contact with Black Bear, who lives on a piece of land on a few minutes drive from that gathering site in the Kahurangi, which he calls 'Spirit of Nature, Nature of Spirit' ("Mt SoNNoS"). This message spent some time on the front page of this hopepage:

News - 5 Jan, 2009: a local in Taitapu (Golden Bay) has shared info about a "rainbow healing and learning camp" being promoted by a man called Ursus Shwartz/ Black Bear. This man has been calling three-month long "rainbow gatherings" every summer for the last few years, often using references to actual rainbow gatherings to borrow credibility. At least now he has stopped calling them gatherings, but his ongoing attempts to bring workers to his working bees, his land and his projects by using the rainbow name are misleading at best. I have visited Black Bear at "Mt SoNNoS", his scrubby hillside "paradise" in the Bay, and my impression was that of a harmless, well-meaning old eccentric. However, word from rainbow family in Europe is that he has caused a lot of confusion and frustration there, and one Golden Bay local has commented,

"you may want to inform people of the dangers of this man and his attempt to make this project sound amazing when it is full of shit. people can still choose for themselves but an informed choice is always better".

The text on the site asks for a 3 week minimum stay. Kia tupato - take care! (Strypey)


Hokianga, Te Tai Tokerau - Seventh Aotearoa national gathering - (4th of March to the 3rd of April 2007)

 Kia ora koutou

An autumn gathering of the rainbow family of love and light has been called. For more information about the tradition of rainbow gatherings and how they are run:

Seed camp will begin on the full moon of March 4 with a lunar eclipse and main gathering will begin two weeks later on the 19th with a solar eclipse. Closing ceremony will be held on the full moon of April 3. autumn equinox will also be observed during the course of main gathering on the 21st.

The site is at the end of Mountain Road, in the rohe of the Hokianga harbour, in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland).


To get there from the south it is about 280km north of Auckland. travel up highway 1 for about 100 km, pass Kaiwaka about 8 km to Maungataroto turn off to Dargaville. Go through Dargaville, follwing the river until you get to a turn off to Waipua forest (there is a takeaway shop here and a wood carving gallery). From here is it though the forst to the Hokianga harbour, beautiful places to go and explore through here including Tanemahuta (god of the forest). pass through Waimamaku, Omapere and Opononi. From there its another 4 kms to mountain road, on your right, at the top of a hill. go about 3 km up Mountain Road and watch for rainbows.

From Whangarei either traval along Maunu road which leads to Dargaville....
or north along highway 1 tuning at Kawakawa then through Moerewa and Kaikohe, past Rawene turn off 10km, though Whirinaki, up the hill then turn left onto Mountain Road.

From the north go to Kohukohu then across the car ferry to Rawene, about 5 km out to the turn off, go right then 10km though Whirinaki, up the hill then turn left onto Mountain Road.

The way up to the site is a turn, up by the big boulder. The car park however is further up the road in the Lands comune.

Please spread the word that the gathering is definitely on. Please also let people know that the kaitiaki of the site have asked that no 'drugs' be taken onto their land, they specifically include cannabis. The usual rainbow guideline is to ask people not to bring drugs (eg alchahol, BZP party pills), but that healing herbs are acceptable. We are relying on the discretion of each person who gathers to distinguish between the two and respect the wishes of the guardians of the land. There is a public land (DOC) a short walk from the main circle where sacred herbs can be used wisely and discretely.

I will repair the website with news about this gathering as it comes to hand:

In the meantime, for more info you can contact:
Annalee: leechwife@wildmail.com
Happycat: 02102763106

Kotahi te aroha


Kaimanawa Regional Park, Desert Plateau - Sixth Aotearoa national gathering - 14th of January to the 14th of February 2006

 Update: Summer Gathering January 14 - February 14

A scouting team of Ian, Eben and Ingwe went up to a beautiful site surrounded by bush about 1/2 an hour's drive from Turangi on the desert plateau. According to the team the site has plenty of camping space by a lovely stream. Please spread the word amongst all the beautiful rainbow sisters and brothers out there, especially those who havn't
yet been to a gathering yet.  Kiri is going to make some leaflets to send out so if you are willing to photocopy leaflets to pass around your rohe (region)  you can email
her (thirteenmoon@yahoo.com.au). In the past as well as giving them directly to likely gatherers we have put leaflets in places like organic shops, funky cafes and drum, juggling and fire toy shops to attract new whanau to the gathering. (Strypey)

 kia ora koutou

Please spread the word as you spread the light and love this summer...we gather on high betwixt Ruapehu and Tongariro, in a beautiful wild nth island river valley. This is a very special place. New moon 30 Jan - Full moon 14 Feb. Some energy for the seed camp 2 weeks before would be appreciated. Blessed be! kiri***

 Finding the Site

Kiri has given me the following instructions for how to find the site for the Jan/ Feb 2006 gathering.

She says:
"well how to get there! basically follow the desert road.the turn off is on the eastern side of the desert road,heading in the opposite direction from the mountain.so
on the left if you are heading south.the name of the road is waipakihi road.follow the road and rainbow ribbons.the gathering is at the end of the road,then a little walk
away.we will have to set up a way of communicating to people where the carpark is,cos if you drive to the very end of the road you might get stuck."

He mihi nui ki a koutou


Moehau Community, Coromandel - Fifth Aotearoa national gathering - 28th of October to the 27th of November 2004  

hi everybody!heres some directions to help you get to the rainbow gathering in beautiful coromandel.
 well you find coromandel town on the coromandel peninsula,you can't miss it.
 -then you head northwards out of town,staying on the main road.
-keep going for about half an hour,staying more or less on the coast,over hills,untill you reach the village of colville.it has only one general store and a few houses. 
-pass through colville and keep going north ,over one small hill by the sea until you get to an intersection with port jackson going left and waikawau bay and portcharles going right.
 -take the right towards port charles and waikawau.
 -go over the hill following gravel road,and down on  the other side is another intersection.take the left towards port charles and stony bay.
 -keep following gravel road over hill,(windy)and come down into port charles estuary.keep going through port charles.(houses and batches strung around)
 -the road will follow coast more or less,untill you round a headland and descend into a straight sandy beach about a kilometre long or so with batches along it.as soon as you land in sandy bay(as above) ,you will see a bridge.just before this is the gate to the gathering.
 -enter here and park imediately on the right inside the driveway.the community doesn't want us all driving through them.
-from here you can walk following the rainbows!
 -see you all there! looking forward to it.  
seed camp starts on 28th of october. Main gathering 13 - 27 November
lots of love and blessings to you all!  (Enchan Tress) 

"Well the recent 2004 national rainbow gathering at Moehau on the Coromandel Peninsula was a great success. I think about 100 people were there to participate in our full moon ritual. It was great to see some familiar faces and plenty of beautiful new ones coming into our growing family."

- Strypey, 'Aotearoa Rainbow Newsmail #5'


Rainbow Valley Community, Anatoki Valley, Golden Bay - Fourth Aotearoa national gathering Jan/ Feb 2003­

The 4th Aotearoa gathering of the rainbow family of living light finished recently after 6 weeks in the beautiful Anatoki Valley, near Takaka in the north of the south island. This began as a small camp to commemorate the succes of the third gathering, and hold a vision council. Word spread like wildfire and before long a full scale gathering was in progress.

Seed Camp began on January 8. This is when our scouts arrive to open the welcome centre, prepare the gathering site and establish communal facilities like water supply, kitchen, chai tent, main circle where we have our meals and of course dig shit pits ;P

Main Gathering began with a full moon ceremony on Saturday January 18 (at this stage I was at the Kaikoura Roots Festival and didn't make it to the gathering till after reporting on Waihopai) and carried on for four weeks, culminating in a wicked full moon party on Sunday February 16.

Throughout we enjoyed communal brunch and dinner cooked by the family with food provided by donations to the 'magic hat'. Family members shared their skills and knowledge through informal workshops and discussions. The health of the family was monitored and treated with natural remedies. At night we gathered in the communal tipi, in the chai tent and around the sacred fire in the main circle to sing bajans, rainbow songs and even some Māori waiata :}

It was a magical time and an amazing opportunity to meet and hang out with an awesome crew of international rainbow brothers and sisters. Some of them are rainbow veterans, for others it was their first gathering. Either way it wouldn't have been the same without them, arohanui ki a koutou, cool runnings, love and best wishes to you all in your travels.

Of course I don't mean to downplay the contribution of our kiwi brothers and sisters, especially our elders who called the gathering and provided momentum at seedcamp. Enormous thanks must go also to our hosts at Rainbow Valley Community, whose land we were camping on for so long. Kia ora koutou katoa.

(Text adapted from an article published on Aotearoa Indymedia by Strypey)


Rainbow Valley Community, Anatoki Valley, Golden Bay - Third Aotearoa national gathering - 2000/01(?)


Te Tai Tokerau - Second Aotearoa national gathering - 1998


Baton Valley, Motueka - First Aotearoa national gathering - 1998

The first Aotearoa gathering happened in Baton Valley, in the Motueka River Valley, in autumn of 1998.

Gathering 0

There are stories of a gathering in Aotearoa in the early years of the rainbow family coming into existence. If this happened, then for some reason, rainbow did not take root in this land at that time.This story assumes that the first Aotearoa rainbow gathering was in 1998.

The Origins of the rainbow gatherings

The first rainbow family gathering was held in the USA in 1972, an organic outgrowth of the hippy movement with a strongly spiritual peace-on-earth focus. Originally planned as a free one-off meditation for peace, the US gathering has become an annual tradition. A truly miraculous yearly event that sees thousands of people gathering peacefully for weeks, providing for their needs through communal cooking and donations to the 'magic hat'. Since then the rainbow family has spread out across the world, with regional and national gatherings held throughout America, Europe, Australia, even Israel! In the last few years there has been a series of world rainbow gatherings beginning in Australia in 2000. The second began in Brazil on March 4. Ten years later, the tenth world gathering was held in Aotearoa.

Many brothers and sisters believe the rainbow gathering movement is the manifestation of Native American prophecies, particularly the Hopi prophecy, which talks about Rainbow Warriors and the emergence of a new tribe who live in the ancient ways and defend the Earth. Many of the Aotearoa whanau feel a sense of connection to the Waitaha, a previously unknown iwi whose oral histories of living in peace in Te Wai Pounamu (south island) before the arrival of Kai Tahu were documented by Barry Brailsford in 'Song of Waitaha'. Misuse of this oral history by the author of Song of Waitaha is described in this article by Makere Harawira, and we aspire to avoid falling into these traps of reinforcing colonization, and instead support the aspirations of all the world's indigenous people to have their autonomy and traditional stewardship of land and resources respected.