Special Character of Hohepa

Hohepa is founded on the principles and teachings of Dr Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose approach to human development and education began from his insight known as anthroposophy.

Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge aiming to guide the spiritual element in the human being”
Dr. Rudolf Steiner

Hohepa aims to provide a service focused on human development based on the teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner. Principles of social therapy and curative education, and practices in bio-dynamic agriculture all align with his ideas founded in Anthroposophy.

Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge aiming to guide the spiritual element in the human being” (Rudolf Steiner) and forms an ideal basis of insight to humanity. A focus on physical, soul/emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the individual is an ideally suited philosophy for people with intellectual disabilities (as well as all people).

Anthroposophy is the essence of Hohepa – termed its special character – which distinguishes Hohepa from other residential communities. As well as an advanced insight to human understanding, curative education and social therapy are core to the work of Hohepa.

Curative Education:

  • Curative education places emphasis on the growth of the whole child and the importance of physical wellbeing, soul development (emotional relationships) and spiritual development that underpins the will for self-determination.
  • A therapeutic approach by a range of specialist therapists works to strengthen physical, soul and spiritual connectedness. This, in the context of special needs education, is what curative education offers, working through closely united home and school planning.
  • The children’s residential family homes on the Hohepa estate allow close working with the Hohepa School, to maximise consistency in the development of each child.
  • The farm site, founded on bio-dynamic farming principles, also provides lifestyle and learning experiences for children, as well as work opportunities for adults. The organically-grown produce is used in homes to provide a healthy diet for all residents.

Social Therapy

Social Therapy is at the core of each community, emphasising social connectedness, and a sense of worth and belonging to a community. The Hohepa communities aim to develop a person’s social consciousness to enable successful participation in the wider community. Their communities provide a strong sense of ‘belonging’, participation and contribution. Developing the whole person, from a physical, soul & spiritual well-being is at the core.

Living in a beautiful, creative environment is therapeutic for the soul, with this community life enabling freedom for the individual.

The principles of social therapy and anthroposophy are a good fit with the Enabling Good Lives principles, currently the focus of government-supported services in New Zealand.