Ka mate kāinga tahi, ka ora kāinga rua.
There is more than one way to achieve an objective.


Who we are:

Te Puawai  Co-operative Society Limited is a co-operative incubator which will assist the birth of, and where appropriate, provide an umbrella for, co-operative enterprises.

The initiative results from a series of Mayday forums initiated by the Blackball Museum of Working Class History, in partnership with the trade unions, the West Coast Labour Party, the West Coast Green Party and the local community, exploring a transition economy for the Coast.

While this initiative comes from the West Coast, whose economy has traditionally been centred on the extractive industries and coal mining in particular, Te Puawai’s role is not necessarily confined to the region.



Current board:

Paul Kearns (Runanga/PSA organizer), Chairperson;

Leigh Cookson); (Manager, Christchurch School of Music);

Gary Secker( (Blackball/moss picker/founding partner of Blackball Salami;

Mike Hutson (Blackball/Builder) and

David Humm (Christchurch/Canterbury University Business Liaison Unit).

Tania Smallridge(Te Aupouri/Blackball/background in both tourism and NGOs) is Secretary and Dr Paul Maunder(Blackball/writer and dramatist with background in community activism) is Treasurer.

The Inaugural Blackball Readers and Writers Festival, run by the Bathhouse Co-op subsidiary, was held over Labour Weekend, with a great response. This festival will be held biennially, with a writers' retreat with workshop elements being held at the same time in intervening years. The Co-op is alos lookingat the possibility of writer's residency for Blackball.

Still in the cultural sphere, a TallTales story writing co-op is being formed, with ambitious plans for a summer Shakespeare project as well as telling local stories for tourists passing through the region.

The next AGM will be held on May 4th.

Meanwhile, it is hoped that the local community will select the co-operative form for the support systems for the Paparoa Great Walk.


Our principles:

  • Valuing all people is essential to our economic well-being;
  • Our economic well-being relies on our relationship with the land, ocean and freshwater;
  • Self-determination and interdependence are both enabling factors and intended outcomes of our economic activities;
  • Equality and equity are both enabling factors and intended outcomes of our economic activities;
  • Underpinning the work of the incubator and projects generated will be the well-being of participating families and their collective capacities.

Becoming a member: Membership is open to individuals, organisations and businesses. Simply fill in the attached form and send to wkcultur@gmail.com with cheque or make a bank transfer to 389019 0010234 00, putting ‘shares’ and your ‘name’ as reference. The membership application will then go to the board for approval and the share certificate mailed to you. Projects: While we are already working on possible projects in the areas of tourism, cleaning and domestic assistance, food and cultural services, we are open to ideas from our members. An initial one page proposal is suggested outlining the proposal, the people involved and what you see the first steps being to further the proposal and how Te Puawai can assist.

Our structure:

We are registered under the Industrial and Provident Society Act, 1908.

Members can be individuals, trade unions, community organisations, businesses, or NGOs.

Each member holds at least four shares worth $5 each. Maximum shareholding is 800 shares. There is 1 vote per member. Shares may be sold with the approval of the board.

General meetings are open to all members who annually elect a board of five people, board positions rotating amongst members. A maximum of two board members can come from outside the membership.

As co-ops are set up, they can form semi-autonomous units within the Society; being serviced by the advocacy and support unit (legal, tax, marketing) which will continue its incubating role.

The working units will hold their own on-site organizational meetings but continue to be members of the Society.

When stable and strong enough, these units will become a separate legal entity.

Liability: Liability of members is limited to the amount of any unpaid shares.


Contact: Te Puawai Co-operative     Society, PO Box 2, Blackball 7804 Physical address: 26 Hart Street, Blackball. Phone 03 7324010 or 0211063669. mail@tepuawai.co.nz