Finn Mackesy

Father; urban homesteader; co-founder of Auckland Permaculture Workshop, Transition Pt. Chevalier, and Resilio Studio.

My name is Finn and I am an addict. I am in a slow process of recovery from my addictions but my early socialisation, societal values and cultural norms makes it hard for me to quit consumption, entitlement and the quest for and expectations of more.

As a child I wanted to be a writer, and now in mid-life it is more important than ever for me to explore and express my thoughts and feelings about the world around and the future I see quickly approaching. I hope that writing will provide an outlet for my recovery and help facilitate conversations about the realities of living in Auckland in the 21st century and how we might individually and collectively navigate our way through.

I am a father, a lover, a gardener, a designer and an educator living on a small suburban section in west Auckland trying to embrace urban homesteading and frugal hedonism as a lifestyle choice. I take pride in living simply, looking for contentment in everyday behaviours and interactions, and challenging cultural norms that seem outdated and ill-fit for our time.

Growing up a white middle class suburban kid left me longing for a deeper connection and sense of self. My grandmother’s regular reminder ‘don’t forget your Irish’ only added to my sense of displacement, especially given that she never added any substance to that cultural marker. Even as a child I had a sense that my presence in that suburban landscape was connected to the absence of an older, wiser local culture but no one could tell me their stories - nothing of any substance - so I had to make up my own. I was blessed to live on the fringe of a beautiful forest patch, on the rim of a valley formed by an ancient lake. It was in this living system - this bioregion - and through my interactions with this living system that I found my roots, my deeper sense of connection, my deeper sense of self. Today I still live in suburbia, this time without the forest neighbourhood and I continue to seek meaning, connection and purpose within the landscapes and communities that are part of my home, Tāmaki Makaurau. 

Deep Ecology and permaculture came into my life at similar times nearly 20 years ago and continue to provide me with inspiration, strength and direction and a reliable and purposeful compass for action. They remain core components of my thinking and practices which support my recovery from industrial socialisation.

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