News 5-24

Anthroposophy in Hawkes Bay

Sunday 4 February

Week 5-24

Coming Events

Calendar of Coming Events 

(in the Rudolf Steiner Centre, 401 Whitehead Road, Hastings
unless stated otherwise)

  • Friday 9 February 7 pm. Friday Group. Leading Thought # 66 to 68.
  • Weekend 24-25 February. 2-day Workshop (9am to 4:15 pm) on Threefold Social Order.**
  • Wednesday 28 February. 7 pm Van James of Hawaii will speak on the occasion of Rudolf Steiner’s 163rd birthday on Madonnas in Art.
  • Saturday 2 March. 9:30 to noon. The School of Spiritual Science.  Mantra 12
  • Thursday 7 March. 5:30 pm.  Branch Committee meeting.
  • Saturday 13 April 2 pm.  Annual General Meeting of the Hawkes Bay Branch of the Anthroposophical Society. [please note change from previously announced date.]
  • Weekend 4-5 May. Annual Conference of Anthroposophical Society in NZ.  To be held in Taikura School as main venue.  Guest speaker: Ueli Hurter, Switzerland.  More details soon.

Contributions for the various sections of the Newsletter are invited. [Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy; Education, Medicine, Health, Biodynamics, Artistic endeavours and trainings, Social gatherings, Community Notices.]

Send to the Editor. before 2 pm on the Saturday prior.  Robin Bacchus

Reader Contributions, Reviews, Reflections, Comments

Submitted by Astrid Pook

Some Reflections of the “Centennial Christmas Foundation Conference”
Held in the Titirangi Rudolf Steiner School

from the evening of 26 to 28 December 2023

The Flier said: “A year after the calamity of the burning of the wooden Goetheanum, Rudolf Steiner re-founded the Anthroposophical Society to unite all the previously regional societies in a Christmas Foundation Meeting in Dornach during the last week of 1923.  During this event, many seeds were laid from which we can draw strength in our time.”

Astrid Pook reflects:

(Thank you, John, for your interesting contribution last week about the Melbourne conference which you attended.)  It is heartening that such events are taking place, not only to mark a date in the calendar, but also to take initiative and work towards bringing to life these vital impulses given 100 years ago by Rudolf Steiner, even in little New Zealand, and I was glad to have been part of this event in Titirangi.

The venue was the Titirangi Steiner School, a little enclave, surrounded by native bush in West Auckland, with plenty of space for all the different workshop groups and a big hall for gathering together.

It started on the first evening with a small choir and piano accompaniment – a very interesting piece composed in Australia for the centennial, to the words of the Foundation Stone Meditation.

Briefly, I felt there was a good, positive mood present during the whole conference –  light, yet earnest too.

It was wonderful to have a piece of music written especially for the centennial celebration of the FSM Meeting, to set the tone.

Dianna Brinston – from the organising group – reflects:

The Christmas Foundation Conference Centennial was celebrated in Auckland with four events:

  •  Conference,

  •  Art exhibition, 

  • Concert - featuring choir accompaniment, 

  • Eurythmy. 

The Foundation Stone Meditation was spoken on each occasion. 
People from all around New Zealand travelled to the conference to exchange ideas and engage in collaborative community activities.
Let us here and now lay in the ground of our hearts the dodecahedral Foundation Stone of love.  Our hearts are the proper soil in which to lay this Foundation Stone – our hearts, in goodwill, imbued with love, working together to carry the anthroposophical will and purpose through the world.”  ~ Rudolf Steiner

Ann-Marie Jacobs-Brown – one of the presenters at the conference – reflects:

It was a joyful conference,  filled with warmth and fellowship  - the very thing that the opposing forces want to destroy. That, in itself, in my opinion, made the conference a success and a wonderful start to 2024.

As for what the attendees gained, I received very positive comments but couldn't speak on behalf of those who listened so carefully and attended each session. 

I hope Michael [Burton] organises another conference this year. These gatherings of like-minded, earnest people need a place to come together and share and feel supported and enlivened.  But most importantly,  the truth of what is attacking us on all sides needs to be acknowledged and discussed. That is the only way we will be able to do what we must for humankind at this time. 

This is a battle that concerns all of us and those of the Michael School are, in particular, being called to account right now.


More books on Threefolding

  • “Free, Equal and Mutual – rebalancing society for the common good.” By Martin Large & Steve Briault, editors. [2018] ISBN 9781907359941
  • “Social Ecology – exploring post-industrial society.” By Martin Large [1981] ISBN 9780950706221
  • “The Waldorf School and Threefold Structure – the embarrassing mandate – the risk of being an Anthroposophical institution.” By Dieter Brüll [1997] ISBN 9781888365054
  • “Three Kinds of Money – Rudolf Steiner and the development of monetary economics.” By Arthur Edwards [2009] ISBN 9780948229596


Finland’s Innovative Solution to Homelessness.

Notes taken by Robin Bacchus from Youtube:

Many countries have a ‘staircase’ approach to solving homelessness:

  1. Abstinence from drugs and alcohol >>> Shelter housing
  2. Getting treatment for dependency >>> Hostel housing
  3. Gaining employment and an income >>> Permanent housing.

Finland reverses this approach by starting by placing homeless people in permanent homes because in this situation solving personal problems is much easier.  These people are not required to have become abstinent or independent first, but they are required to pay a small rent which requires them to have a job.

The Finnish Government provides many centres for groups of about 100 homeless people with about 20 on-site social workers giving them support with regard to bureaucracy, job-hunting, getting access to addiction and mental health treatment and to help keep them on the rails.

In 1980 Finland had about 20,000 homeless people which has reduced to about 4,000 in 2021.  This was possible because of the continuous reliable support provided by the state.  Re-integration of homeless people fully into independent members of society is a long, slow process.

It does take a lot of money providing buildings, social workers and subsidising rent, but it also saves money in another way.

It was estimated that the cost of a homeless person was 15,000 Euro p.a. but on the other hand the costs of Social services, health care, police, emergency care and the justice system were reduced by 34% or 10,3000 Euro per person.  Furthermore it was great for citizens who didn’t have to deal with so much criminality and drug issues, etc.

The main problem for any Government is having enough housing.  Most countries – especially New Zealand – have housing crises.  Housing is expensive and social housing is not a top Government priority.

Here, Finland has a rather unique situation – cities own most of the land (not private corporations) so they can easily build lots of social housing units.  [This is largely true in China where people lease housing land from the Government or City]

Other countries – including New Zealand – have impossibly expensive real estate which precludes any effective action to provide housing for citizens and immigrants who seem necessary to make our economy work.

This matter of land ownership interests me because Rudolf Steiner remarked that land should not be privately owned and thus not bought and sold as a commodity – that is, it is not part of the Economic sector.  Commodities are things that are produced/created and then consumed – thus disappearing.  Land is not produced, nor does it disappear.  The right to occupy land is a social issue, not an economic one.

Another factor is the often-deep-rooted ideological position that homeless people should ‘deserve’ rather than just get housing!  Because doing so may create a bad precedence for decades.  This is a social problem!  [What does equality of rights really mean?]

The situation in New Zealand is exacerbated by the short election cycle and the tendency for frequent change of Government party who spend their first months in office not doing anything but undoing what the previous party had just got going – leading to considerable instability and waste of resources.

Robin Bacchus

Weekend Workshop on Threefolding on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February.

Themes will include:

         Cosmic Trinity

         Human Threeness

         Social Threefolding

         Fostering change and social awareness

Artistic activities: please bring coloured pencils, pens, pastels, chalk. Paper of various sizes will be supplied.  Several blackboards are available.

A data Projector is available if anyone wishes to use a computer to present photos, slides, Powerpoints, etc.

Social sharing: please bring food for sharing at breaks and Lunch.  Coffee and tea will be supplied.

Costs: A Koha of $10 per day is expected whether you attend one session or four.


I would like to get some idea of how many people might attend all or part of the Workshop.  If you have not done so already, please email, text or call me saying what you plan to do and what questions you would like addressed or discussed.

Robin Bacchus:; 022-398 2805;  8778936.

Posted: Thu 18 Jan 2024