Nestled in the Moutere Valley, Riverside is a historical village that offers people an opportunity to put their group living ideals into practice.
We host regular public events including educational workshops, community lunches, cultural events and music festivals. We see our way of life as our main contribution to peacemaking. We demonstrate that a group of people can thrive without being focused on competition, benefiting themselves and society.
The community had its beginnings in 1941 when a group of Christian Pacifists agreed to adopt a way of life based on co-operation. They wanted to demonstrate that this was a practical alternative to the competitive ways of normal society which are a major contributor to wars. One of the group contributed 30 acres of farmland and orchard, in the Lower Moutere Valley, and some of them moved there to live.
Several of the founding members were conscientious objectors to the compulsory military scheme during the Second World War. These men spent the war years on a prison farm in the Taranaki region while their wives and children moved to the small farm in Lower Moutere. Later, after the war, the newly formed Religious Charitable Riverside Community Trust (RCT) was foundered and, over time, new land was purchased and the hilly scrub land cleared and cultivated.
Today Community life and living
Riverside consists of 208 hectares of both flat and rolling hill land, with our main income coming from our dairy farm. We manage a growing number of secondary businesses including a café, centre, garage, pear orchard, organic gardens and shop. Income is shared and distributed depending on family size rather than occupation.
Riverside assets are owned by the Trust and there is no private ownership of houses or cars. The community's general fund helps to meet basic needs such as health care, dental care, electricity and phone while other needs are subsidised like education and travel costs.
We eat our own beef, mutton and milk comes daily from our dairy farm. We also have an organic vegetable garden and orchard which provides produce for members as well as for the café and shop.
Community families live in self-contained homes and children attend local schools or choose to home educate.
At present we share one meal together on a Wednesday afternoon and the general public are warmly invited to share this with us.
Full details on our website here »