New Frontiers     /     Aroha Valley     /     Kiwi Connect     /     Edmund Hillary Fellowship


About New Frontiers

New Frontiers is a gathering of passionate minds and visionary leaders, whose work and life purpose is to create positive impact in their communities and around the world. Over the past years, innovators and leaders of change from highly diverse backgrounds have gathered to be inspired one another and create scalable solutions.

The event is a 5-day residential experience hosted on a rural farm, and it creates an atmosphere of trust, community, and openness. This setting allows for deep exposure to new ways of thinking, authentic relationships to be forged, and fuels creativity between a group of interesting people.

New Frontiers is a co-created forum, where each person participates in shaping the conversations. It is a time for bold visioning and exploration of ideas for a brighter future. We invite you to actively share your perspectives and passions. There will be space for you to host sessions, workshops or conversations throughout the event.

This year, New Frontiers will serve as a launching pad for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, as a new opportunity for visionary entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams to create scalable global impact from New Zealand.



Yoseph Ayele

Charlotte Hayes

Raelene Millar

Mark Haines

Kimberley Gilmour

Brian Monahan

Matthew Monahan

Laureen Bamford

Mark Plewinski


Alina Siegfried 

Tai Kenning

Alex Novak

Ian & Helen Muir


About Aroha Valley

  Haere mai, nau mai ki a Aroha Valley  -  A very warm welcome to Aroha Valley!

Haere mai, nau mai ki a Aroha Valley  -  A very warm welcome to Aroha Valley!

Aroha Valley is a community land project that began in 2011 at Woodcote homestead, and has been expanding ever since as our community grows! Designed to be a resilient platform and sanctuary for projects involving sustainability, art and technology, it is a place for inventing, experimenting and co-creating. Nestled in nature, Aroha Valley is intended to be a place for healing and adventure, as well as an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to fully express their gifts in service to a more beautiful world.

We hope Aroha Valley can showcase an integrated model of what's possible when community living, art, good food, technology, friends and family are all essential elements of a holistic, balanced lifestyle. Staying reasonably close to Wellington means that we remain connected to economic ecosystems and projects driving New Zealand. This urban/rural mix gives us the space to work towards creating scalable solutions for complex social and environmental problems, while working in harmony with our natural surroundings.


Aroha Valley is nestled in a suburb of Upper Hutt called Whitemans Valley. Founded and settled by the Whiteman family in 1871, it sits along the banks of the Mangaroa River and is comprised of a variety of farms, lifestyle blocks and a café. Further below us sits the Hutt Valley, which drains the Hutt River through Upper and Lower Hutt out into Te Whanganui a Tara - the Wellington Harbour. Wellington is also known as Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui - the mouth of the fish caught by Maui, referencing the Māori legend that the North Island was a great fish that was hauled up from the depths by Maui from his waka (canoe) which represents the South Island.

The main hub of Aroha Valley and the New Frontiers festival is the Woodcote homestead. The house, and the land it sits on, have a rich history. In the early years, the land was used for sawmills and timbering, and later on for beef and sheep farming. When the house was built in the late 1970s, the new owner wanted the grounds to be landscaped just like an English garden, complete with English trees, flowers and a pond. Structures like the rose pergola, benches, statues, windmill and pumphouse were installed, and a few years later the Woodcote café opened. People would come from all over the region for a bite, and a walk through the Woodcote gardens. Weddings and love ceremonites were held on the property (with more planned for the future) and the place developed a reputation for its grace and elegance. We have endeavoured to keep it this way.

If you are quiet and peaceful here, you may hear voices from the past. They are calling upon us to use this land to host purposeful people at New Frontiers, and to work together for our collective well-being.


The Greenhouse Dome

The massive greenhouse dome at Woodcote is not just any old dome. Built in early 2014, it is a specially New Zealand-made and designed ‘Domegrown’ which traps heat. The sun reflects from a foil-like covering on one side of the dome, onto water-filled heat banks. As the water heats up, the dome heats up, allowing us to grow veggies all year round. Double insulation ensures that no heat escapes. The Domegrown design was originally used in the Dome to Dish programme, that installs domes in schools and teaches kids about nutrition and veggie gardening.


Pallet Beds

When the need arose to acquire furniture in Aroha Valley, we quickly decided that we could produce our own in a way that fit in with our philosophy of reducing the pressure we place on our natural environment. Over half pallets worldwide are used only once, resulting in millions of tonnes of waste wood. So we upcycled, using heat-only-treated wooden shipping pallets from local businesses. The result is high quality beds, that are strong, functional and beautiful. Win-win!


Raised Garden Beds

Our beautifully designed raised garden beds provide us with veggies for most of the year. The garden beds were designed to integrate naturally with their environment, and are built with untreated macrocarpa timber, a highly durable wood for outdoor use. The raised beds help to keep out pests, while the ‘wagon frame’ design and netting system means we can protect the vegetables from birds and frosts, which still letting beneficial insects have access to the plants.  


Wildlife in the Valley

You will likely see some of our resident valley wildlife out here. The valley is home to several introduced species including rabbits, deer and wild pigs. In the trees and fields, you’ll find a number of native bird species including friendly fantails, talkative tuis, comical ground-dwelling pukekos and big, fat kereru (wood pigeons).


About Kiwi Connect  

Kiwi Connect is bringing together global impact ventures in New Zealand, by building global bridges to connect world-class talent, impact capital, and high-tech innovation to New Zealand’s rapidly-growing startup ecosystem.

The Kiwi Connect team is focused on harnessing the power of business - coupled with holistic values of collaboration, creativity, integrity and service - to develop integrated solutions to meaningful world problems.

With a small population, innovative spirit and close-knit government and business community, New Zealand is the ideal “Incubation Nation” from which to build, develop and expand socially-minded ventures. Our goal is to grow and support a community of passionate people in New Zealand, using their talents to realise a thriving, just and sustainable world.

Edmund Hillary Fellowship logo

About Edmund Hillary Fellowship

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visionary entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams to live and work in New Zealand, to create scalable, positive global impact. Our purpose is to incubate solutions to global problems from New Zealand, and make a lasting positive impact on the world.

Launching in early 2017, up to 100 international and 20 New Zealand-based Fellows will be selected each year to join the three-year programme, and become part of a diverse community of exceptional entrepreneurs and investors.

International candidates accepted into EHF can apply for a three-year, open Global Impact Visa, the world’s most entrepreneur-friendly work visa, and the only one to be oriented around impact. All Fellows receive access to partner networks and individualised support to succeed in their ventures.

EHF is delivered through a partnership between Kiwi Connect and the Hillary Institute for International Leadership.