The diverse community now living on the site of former commune Centrepoint

Jane* came in search of safety after living in fear for three years after a traumatic event. Moving to Kāwai Purapura was "like winning Lotto".

One of the beauties of KP - as residents call it for short - is that your privacy is respected, but there is always an opportunity to be among others if you're craving human connection.

Jane didn't at first, but her social anxiety has slowly lifted, she's connected with the community and feels safe, loved and protected.

"It's the nature more than anything else," she says. "I feel like this land is special."

She took up yoga, goes to the mirimiri massage, attends dance classes and the crystal sound baths - all which take place on site.

It's a nurturing environment, where people look out for each other, Jane says. One table in the residents' lounge Rangi is for free food, and another for random items.

"If you feel down there's always someone to give you a hug," she says.

"If you want space, you're allowed to say you need space. People respect your boundaries."

Her children visit and laugh.

"They love it - they say, 'ah yeah mum, we always knew you were a hippy."

Did she?

"Yes. I knew but I didn't know any other people like me."

She has no plans to leave but doesn't care if she's not there forever.

"I hope this place will be here for a very long time because of the gift it gives… but I'll take the gifts it has given to me, to my soul and spirit, wherever I go."


It's the spirit of giving that emka* loves most about KP.

"For me the purpose is the community of giving."

Emka* is Polish, grew up in Germany and has spent the last 10 years travelling, living in intentional communities and chasing festivals with a focus on contact improvisation dance. They teach it at KP on Tuesday evenings, but might take a hiatus soon when baby arrives.

Emma Taylor - from the UK - arrived a couple months after emka*, at the end of 2019. They were both volunteers and both found out about KP by chance.

After meeting at KP they soon became a couple and married at The Glade in April this year.

"One of the residents was the celebrant. It was bit hippy, and we just had a potluck and told our friends to bring food and sang songs and played music in the evening," Emma says.

They're now residents instead of volunteers and rent one of the stand-alone, fully self-contained homes, where Emma plans to give birth. Baby is due next month and will be the only child living at the community.

When they chose KP, they had no idea about its past but were soon told by others living there.

"It wasn't nice but I didn't properly look into it either because I don't want to know every deep, dark secret," Emma says.

"Maybe some people would be compelled to leave, but it was like, well look at all these wonderful people and we do so many wonderful things. We play, we dance, and we do yoga and we cook together - it was slightly upsetting to know that it used to be that but I didn't dwell on it for any time."


Pete Wyatt grew up not far from where KP is in Albany, on Auckland's North Shore, and was aware of the Centrepoint community - "that there were some crazy hippies up there".

His first time at KP was about 10 years ago when he visited friends who lived there.

"I was in a boarding house in Avondale, which wasn't particularly satisfactory because I wasn't enjoying being locked in a concrete plastic thing… I got dragged into living here because it seemed to fit."

He loves that he can retreat to his little hut - once the chicken shed - hidden by the branches of a great big tree yet can walk down the hill and instantly be part of a community.

The location and what it offers is the prize.

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