A dog, a rooster and several residents mill around the Sunburst community's hay barn. Sunburst received approval under the government's ohu scheme in 1974, and was the first ohu (intentional community) to be established. Ohu is a Māori word meaning a communal working group.
Sunburst residents – a loose group of friends who had lived together in Auckland and the Hokianga – had to carve their settlement out of the bush on the 80 hectares they were allotted on the Coromandel Peninsula. The land lacked vehicle access until a neighbouring farmer bulldozed a track, and residents rigged up a flying fox to transport supplies across the Rangihau River. Sunburst lasted about six years.
Listen to some Sunburst residents singing the praises of the community, and an interview with a member about the more giving way of life that they hoped to practise.
Using this item
Photograph by Shirley Gruar
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