Riverside Community

Once apon a time...


  When war broke out.  A small, local Methodist bible study group consulted the good book and found the words, "thou shall not kill".  Refusing to be cowed by the bullying of their good christian neighbors and the state (who had hastily penciled in "except for Germans, obviously because they are evil and objectionable"). They set out to educate their fellow antipodeans in the true way of peace and love.  (A message that was picked up decades later  by the hippies only to be quickly lost again a few years later.)  So our good Christians got on their soap boxes, (yes actual soap boxes) and preached the word of the lord to the town folk who were readying for war.  The townsfolk pointed out that the killing of Germans was not only sanctioned by the state it was demanded of every able bodied man in the country.  The townsfolk then gathered their burning torches and pitchforks, (yes actual pitchforks) and ran the yellow bellied kraut loving commies (actually probably not commies I just can't think of another term of abuse for a bible study group) out of town.  They continued to preach whenever possible.  The men were soon rounded up and sent to prison camps on the desert plateau in central north island.  They were a very dedicated lot. Hunger strikes, civil disobedience and escapes followed.  Many of the men ended up in Mt Eden maximum security prison often in solitary, on bread and water for non compliance.  The women of the group congregated on a farm in the Moutere.  When the men were released five years later at wars end they got together and decided to continue their mission by establishing a community dedicated to peace and cooperation.  And Thus  Riverside Community was born.  the name Riverside came from a Methodist hymn.  The words go something like this.
ain't gonna study war no more...
down by the river side...
Seventy years lots of pioneering effort and several generations later Riverside is completely  secular. The former church is a now cultural center.  
The community is now a thriving village of around twenty households loosely grouped around a central green,  the cultural center and a pumping cafe set in beautiful park like surrounds,  running out into two hundred hectares of farmland and forest.
Economically the Community is farm based.  With the Riverside Community Trust Board owning all the land and buildings, business plant etc.  the Community members work for the trust receiving a wage.  All members earnings are consolidated in a common purse from which rent etc is paid to the trust.  A cash allowance is paid to members for general expenses
The Community, while striving to be a living alternative to the fear driven and unsustainable juggernaut of capitalism, continues  to look for relevance and its role in the coming decades.