Richard Thompson is a consultant facilitator and timber business owner based in Whanganui. He is a former chairman of the NZ Landcare Trust and former president of Ecologic Foundation.
Dehli VIllage started as an idea between six socially connected households and they have steadily been turning their aspiration into reality – house by house, on the rural fringe of the provincial town of Whanganui. Members see their community as an opportunity to live in a village atmosphere, socially connected on shared land, while maintaining independence in their own homes.
The group purchased 12.8 hectares of rural land, subdivided it and developed a grey-water system.
Most of the residential sites are clustered, with remaining land available for orchards, gardens, growing firewood and grazing sheep and chickens, with the steepest parts being re-clad in native forest.
Delhi Village looks to embrace diversity in its makeup by being open to a range of people from different cultures and at different life stages. The existing community includes a lawyer, a photographer, a baker, a reporter, a teacher, a behavioural specialist, two nurses, an astronomer, an artist / teacher, a landscaper/carpenter, and a mediator.
Bill McKay is a lecturer at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. He writes extensively on New Zealand architecture and his commentary and criticism over the last decade has been recognised by the NZ Institute of Architects with a Presidents Award and Urbis magazine named him Best Architectural Writer.