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:

Leigh Cookson (Manager, Christchurch School of Music);

Karen Grant (Kaiata, ex Tai Poutini support staff, music teacher).

Chairperson: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, 2018,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 also looking at the possibility of awriter's residency for Blackball.

Still in the cultural sphere, a TallTales story telling 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.

At the AGM on May 4th shareholders voted to give the incoming board permission to facilitate the setting up of a co-op to provide a shuttle and relocation service for the new Paparoa Great Walk. This service will now be operating in partnership with Paparoa Shuttles.

Writers Retreat: Midday, Saturday Oct 26th to Midday, Monday Oct 28th. Blackball School, $90 including food. Find own accommodation. Register at wkcultur@gmail.com


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. Contact wkcultur@gmail.com for a share application form. The membership application will then go to the board for approval and once the money transferred, a 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