Why we're here

In 2012, the Common Unity Project Aotearoa started as a pilot project to explore the idea that by inviting a community to partner with us and celebrating the strengths that we have, we might together address some challenges that affect us all.

We are a registered charity that works collaboratively with Epuni Primary School, a little school with a big heart, in Lower Hutt. We grow food on a disused soccer field - enough to feed our children of Epuni School three times each week. We invite our parents and wider community to come to school each day and learn, share and educate one another. In turn, this has become a collective response to meeting the needs of our children and developing our own resilient solution within our community.

We look to each other to strengthen our community from the inside out.

Welcome to our story. Our journey along the way has been one of learning, unification and transformation as we look to each other to strengthen our community from the inside out.

We are always happy to share our story and invite you to contact us. We invite collaboration and offer our successes, challenges and vision of an Aotearoa where all children are valued, treasured and have equal chances of health and participation.

It is my belief that it is time to review what makes an individual wealthy. To move beyond the measurement of wealth in terms of personal ownership and financial gain. To make significant changes in our communities, surely the family/individual who lives a life of connectedness, contribution and harmony to that of their wider community and environment is the wealthiest of them all?

Together, we grow our own solution.

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Julia Milne
CUPA Founder


Our team

We employ six team members to manage our day-to-day operations, and keep the project running smoothly:

  • Julia Milne, Project Coordinator

  • Darmiati Amin, Koha Kitchen Manager

  • Rose Barber, Operations Manager

  • Miranda Baker, Beeple Project Pollinator

  • Khaled Al Jouja, Our Gardening Guy

  • Vic Pearce, Head Bee Daddy


Our board

The Common Unity Project Aotearoa is supported by an active Board of Trustees with diverse backgrounds and skills, who all volunteer their time to deliver better outcomes for our children and community:

  • Glenda Swan, Chairperson
  • Mei Ling Sim, Treasurer
  • Carolyn Watts
  • Rob Hegarty
  • Julia Milne
  • Mary-Jane Rivers
  • Brittany Peck


Our supporters

The Common Unity Project Aotearoa was founded in a partnership with Epuni Primary School. Our thanks to the Board of Trustees, staff, students and families of Epuni School for their continuing support.

We gratefully acknowledge following organisations for their recent financial support, in addition to the many community organisations who have generously donated to our project:

  • Wellington Community Trust
  • Lottery Grants Board
  • Hutt City Council
  • Infinity Foundation Limited
  • Community Organisation Grants Scheme
  • Thomas George Macarthy Trust
  • WWF