Here are the benefits when you work with Common Ground:
Common Ground could help your project achieve these results based on your chosen objectives from the planning tool.
Save time and money in development process (identify cost savings and effective processes
Have the clarity and confidence on what it will take to create a successful project
Identified more regenerative potential for project
Operating at a higher and deeper level of thinking about the project
A project vision document that will attract the right people and resources to support the project
Stronger connections with other role players in the housing development sector and some strategic partnerships identified
Effective tools and processes for the social and ecological aspects of the project
Managed plan for potential pitfalls and challenges
First stage completed towards a permaculture design for land-based projects
A strategy to share the project development with a wider audience
Identified ways of creating a climate resilient community
Identified ways the project can be financially sustainable and economically inclusive
For those projects further along, focus is on increasing regenerative potential and success of the project to achieve regenerative results.
What are the costs of not doing this work with the guidance of a skilled and experienced practioner:
Possible legal risks including litigation or blocks to consent with Council
Possible financial risks including higher taxes, money spent on wrong resources or activities, not securing better prices
Possible dissolution of project due to social conflict or people who sabotage the project
Project could take longer or go in the wrong direction without focus
Not reaching its full potential for regeneration of the area (socially, ecologically or economically)
Not being able to attract the right people, partners, or resources that will help the project to succeed efficiently
Feelings of overwhelm, confusion, or lack of support could lead to burnout, resentment, or giving up
Being seen as a “difficult” or getting NIMBY responses rather than seen as an innovative leader bringing an asset to the area
What they say about Common Ground
Connected Living Advocate
Co-Founder of Cambridge Co-Housing
Wealth of knowledge
Zola (Sam) has huge knowledge about alternative housing - both local and global issues. She is well connected in the alternative housing area and through those connections brings a wealth of knowledge to events and courses.
She is an excellent facilitator both in small and large groups and is able to elicit responses and input from all group members.
Urban Strategist with Urban Advisory
Co-Founder of Society for Alternative Housing Development
Passion for housing justice
Zola (Sam) has a significant level of knowledge about the topic of alternative housing and has an obvious passion for housing justice.
Her work in developing learning guides for us has been excellent - demonstrating her ability to communicate the key aspects required to deliver alternative housing solutions.
Architectural Designer, Regenerative practitioner & involved with the formation of Whangarei’s Ecovillage Ahi Wai
Wow Zola. You’re like a co-housing dynamo. So much knowledge and connections. Talking to you was so informative and totally inspiring.
You’ve really helped me develop my thinking around developing an Eco Village. Introducing the non-profit and non-speculative concepts - right up my alley; the importance of Permaculture. I have confidence that I could make the site a really desirable place to live.
You’ve actually got me into a higher state of excitement with this work. I feel our goals are totally aligned around regenerate housing, community prosperity and ecological health.
Thanks so much for your mahi.
Tiny House Community Leader
Zola cleared up my most urgent questions regarding our Upper Clutha Tiny House Community project. She also gave me a rich insight into the big task of community development from the ground up.
For this daunting task, to shape our way of living and thriving, Zola is amongst the experts we need to build strong and connected communities to create our future in the best way possible. I'm looking forward to learning more from Zola and Common Ground.
Why work with Zola and Common Ground
as a partner for your project and team/organisation?
Achievements in this sector
Co-founded an intentional eco-community and lived in the community for nine years, from start to finish.
Experienced the best and the worst of pioneering a new community development—a lot of lessons learned through real life experience
Developed a rural homestead of 1 acre using permaculture design principles which functioned as a Sustainability Commons Learning Centre for teachers, local community, and international visitors
Initiated the establishment of the first Council-partnered and government-funded Community Land Trust in Aotearoa (for affordable housing)
Coordinated the building of 100+ houses on rural and urban sites in partnership with future residents and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity
Professional Development in this sector
Masters in community and international development
Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)
Ecovillage Design Education certificate (EDE)
Regenerative Practitioner Series course certificate
Won the 2012 “Eduplant” award for best permaculture school and educator in the province
Te Tiriti o Waitangi workshop certificate
Member of the Australasian Facilitator’s Network
Strong Networks and Roles in the Sector of Housing Systems Change
Committee member of the Society for Alternative Housing Development
Committee member of the Society for Cooperative Housing NZ
Member of the Waikato Regional Housing Initiative
Member of the Permaculture in New Zealand assoc
I acknowledge the Māori version of Te Tiriti (Treaty of Waitangi) and work towards structural and institutional changed based on that version and value an indigenous worldview.
I value multiculturalism and diversity in all its forms.
I am guided by the ethics of earth care, people care and fair share, and the living systems framework.
Still thinking about it?
Book a 30-minute FREE exploration call to gain more clarity and to get started!
Zola, you helped me be clearer on setting my goals, you keep me accountable, you helped me with your connections and liaising with people, you helped me with wording some of my presentation to council.
You communicate clearly, you are punctual and very organised, which helps me stay on track.
You have opened a whole new world around the regenerative principles, even though I find it sometimes overwhelming as it touches on so many aspects and finding practical ways to put these principles in action is not easy.
Coaching/Mentor Client for Raglan Ecovillage Project
Zola is very skilled at creating an inviting space and encouraging people to share and listen to each other.
From her previous experiences, she has a huge range of tools and activities that she used to give structure to our time together.
She balanced the need for open sharing with time for more structured content very well.
Zola is very solutions focused.
She contributes generously and encourages others to do the same. She is very experienced in this work, so she brings depth and resilience to it.
Urban Habitat Collective & retreat participant
Zola is very structured and organised. I enjoyed her energy and tenacity to make all facets of the retreat work for all.
With her open heart, Zola consciously ensures there is always space in her events for fluidity.
This is a skill and a talent that was much appreciated by the group.
Global Ecovillage Network
and retreat participant
The quality and quantity of information. The opportunity for collaboration on content, so that all attendees could be sure to get what they wanted from the event.
The warmth and connection she brings with her communication and energy! Easy communication, great to collaborate with, ability to think outside the box and come up with interesting and effective solutions