From Burning wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
KWB logo 001.jpg
Location Hunterville, New Zealand
Inaugurated 2004
Most recent: January 25-30, 2017
Next event: January 24-29, 2018

Kiwiburn is a regional Burning Man event held clrose to the town of Hunterville in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an experiment in temporary community and artistic expression, and is guided by ten main principles, including radical inclusion, gifting and radical self-reliance. The event occurs in late January each year over a period of five days. The highlight of the event each year is the burning of a temple, and of a themed effigy.

Vision and Organization

Kiwiburn's Management Structure.
Auckland Burners Workshop

Kiwiburn was the inspiration of Mark 'Yonderman' Stirling who lived in Reno Nevada for five years while completing his Ph.D. He participated in a number of the early Burning Man events from 1994-1997 which were life changing experiences for him. After moving back to New Zealand he was motivated to bring the Burning Man ethos to New Zealand, and from small beginnings in the South Island's Golden Bay it has flourished. Kiwiburn is the longest-standing of the Burning Man Regional Burns outside of the United States, having been held every year since 2004. Participation has grown over the same period from less than 100 to over 1,500.

From 2007 the event has been managed and presented by Kiwiburn Incorporated. The Rules of Kiwiburn Inc. state:

Kiwiburn Incorporated is a New Zealand regional group, associated with but not legally linked to the Burning Man festival in the USA. Kiwiburn Incorporated promotes the ten principles of Burning Man and brings these together in the form of an annual festival. in doing this Kiwiburn Incorporated promotes community interaction and involvmnt in creative endeavors by its members in the interest of social welfare and the improvement of their conditions of life. All members of the public are invited to attend the annual festival and/or become members of Kiwiburn Incorporated.... Kiwiburn does not exist for profit making.

The management structure of Kiwiburn Inc. was modified in 2017 to include six Facilitators working with 30 volunteer group team leaders, in addition to the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Kiwiburn Inc. prepares financial statements each year, along with an Afterburn Report summing up the build, presentation and packdown from each year's event.

As with all Burns, the event would not be possible without the joint efforts of the Committee, volunteers, Theme Camps, participants and contractors, and the support and co-operation of the local community.

The Auckland Burners Workshop located at 113 Valley Road in Auckland provides logistical support to the Burn, build crew and Theme Camps and provided a venue for off-Paddock events.

Kiwiburn Culture

The 10 Principles

Kiwiburn's 10 Principles Pictogram. Concept and execution by Madeline Fountain.

Kiwiburn is built on the ten principles of Burning Man. These are

Radical Inclusion: Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Gifting: Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
Deccommodificanion: In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Radical Self Reliance: Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical Self Expression: Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Communal Effort: Our community promotes social interaction through collective acts of gifting. We value creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
Civic Responsibility: We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. Organizers must also assume responsibility for abiding by national law and district bylaws.
Leaving No Trace: Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better condition than when we found them.
Participation: Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation in experience. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
Immediacy: Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, appreciation of the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Kiwiburn Conduct Committee

The Conduct Committee is responsible conducting investigations of incidents within the Kiwiburn community.


  • Refine the process for investigation of reports made regarding behaviour that transgresses the Kiwiburn Code of Conduct
  • Suggest changes to the Code of Conduct, when needed, to the ExCom
  • Investigate reports in a thorough, confidential, and respectful manner
  • Resolve reports by making recommendations for action to ExCom when necessary.


  • Document each report as it is made
  • Determine whether action is required
  • Respond to the report in a timely fashion
  • If the incident is actionable, develop an understanding of the incident such that a recommendation for action may be made to ExCom
  • Document all reports in a manner that will enable the Conduct Committee to identify patterns of behaviour
  • Maintain the anonymity of the reporter when an incident is reported but the reporter does not wish to take the matter any further than alerting the Conduct Committee
  • Make reports to the ExCom recommending courses of action as an outcome of investigations of either single incidents or ongoing patterns of behaviour.

What we do not do

  • The Conduct Committee does not determine guilt or innocence

Kiwiburn Community

In addition to their participation at Kiwiburn, and those involved with Kiwiburn Incorporated, New Zealand Burners and others associated via facebook groups, including:

The Kiwiburn Event

Kiwiburn presentations:

Kiwiburn is the longest established Regional Burn outside of the United States. Initially established on the South Island, it moved to the North Island in 2007.

Presentation Theme Location Dates Participation Tickets
Visionz 2004 ? South Island 30 December 2003 - 12 January 2004 ? ?
Kiwiburn 2005 ? Golden Bay, South Island ? 200 ?
Kiwiburn 2006 ? Golden Bay, South Island ? 200 ?
Kiwiburn 2007 MegaMorphosis Whakamaru, North Island 9 - 11 February 145 ?
Kiwiburn 2008 Combust in Unity Whakamaru, North Island 1 - 4 February 182 ?
Kiwiburn 2009 Future History Whakamaru, North Island 5 - 8 February 250 $50 - $80
Kiwiburn 2010 Elementality Whakamaru, North Island 29 January - 1 February 450 $50 - $100
Kiwiburn 2011 Twisted Reality Whakamaru, North Island 26 - 31 January 530 $70 - $140
Kiwiburn 2012 Disaster holiday Whakamaru, North Island 18 - 23 January 536 $70 - $160
Kiwiburn 2013 EnligTENment Whakamaru, North Island 23 - 28 January 754 ?
Kiwiburn 2014 Forgotten dreams Hunterville, North Island 22 - 27 January ? ?
Kiwiburn 2015 Wyrd Hunterville, North Island 21 - 26 January ~1400 ?
Kiwiburn_2016 Potluck and Emotion Hunterville, North Island 27 January - 1 February ~1500 ?
Kiwiburn_2017 The Robots are Coming Hunterville, North Island 25 - 30 January ~1600 ?
Kiwiburn 2018 The Grand Bizarre Hunterville, North Island 24 - 29 January ? $170

Hunterville Locality

Hunterville and surrounding countryside.

Hunterville is a small town in the Rangitikei District of New Zealand, with a population of approximately 450. HUunterville is 200km north of the city of Wellington which is located at the Southern-most tip of the North Island of New Zealand. The area's economy is primarily based on agriculture, although there is a growing element of tourism and arts and crafts. It might be said that Hunterville's character belies it's gentle rural outlook, being the host not only of the Kiwiburn event, but also the annual 'Hunterville Huntaway Festival Shemozzle' held each October.

New Zealand was first occupied by the Māori peoples who had arrived from eastern Polynesia approximately seven hundred years ago. The Ngati Apa were the traditional owners of the richly forested land in the Hunterville area and surrounding district in the 1840's. At that time the Treaty of Waitangi had (imperfectly) asserted British sovereignty of New Zealand while recognizing the Māori peoples rights to lands they occupied. The Ngati Apa had by then suffered not only from the effects of inter-tribal warfare fueled by the arrival of European guns, but also from the terrible effects of contagious diseases such as smallpox brought to New Zealand with the European arrivals. During the 1840's Europeans began moving up from the port city of Wellington into the District and making agreements with local Māori to occupy land, and a wider sweeping agreement between the Ngati Apa and the British Colonial Government opened the area up to settlement by European farmers by 1850.

'The Paddock' Town Plan and Infrastructure

The Kiwiburn event occurs on private land that is used for the remainder of the year for pasture and raising sheep. The site is collectively known as 'The Paddock', although it is effectively 3 distinct paddocks or fields, and one area containing trees which is know as 'The Forest'. The three fields are arrayed on sloping ground with the highest devoted to car parking and vehicle based camping, and the next two (the Upper and Lower Paddocks) given over to Theme Camps and general tented camping. The Forest, which in previous years had been used for camping, was in 2018 earmarked for artworks only, due to a risk of falling branches. The lower end of the forest abuts onto the Rangitikei River.

  • Area and shape of site
  • Permanent Infrastucture
  • Internal divisions/neighborhoods - explain functions and relative locations
  • Created infrastructure - effigies etc, power, water, waste, lighting

Volunteer and Contracted Services

In 2017 crew who had worked on site for at least a week prior to the event were offered discounted tickets ($95, a $75 discount).


Theme Camps

Theme Camps work with the event organizers to present static and/or mobile public venues, performances and services, while providing their members with camping areas and communal facilities. Theme Camps are required/encouraged to register with the event organization prior to the event in order to receive support including grants, priority location, and publicity in the event guides. Registered Theme Camps are expected to provide a significant public offering, and undertake to conform with event, Shire and State regulations regarding buildings and safety.

Camps start arriving and setting up about a week prior to the event commencement. Theme Camps are allocated positions closest to the Effigy and Temple structures, and are broadly zoned 'Music', 'General' and 'Quiet'.

A complete list of Theme Camps at each presentation of Kiwiburn can be browsed on the Event Presentation pages of this Wiki. Theme Camps that have had a recurring presence at Kiwiburn include:

Participant Experience

Participants bring their enegy, their expression, and many of the best aspects of humanity to each Burn event. Inspiration for modes of participation come from the participants diverse and often rich backgrounds in the arts, science, engineering and humanities, and from ideas developed and extended in other Regional Burns and Burning Man itself. Participants create expression individually and collaboratively in and across Theme Camps, and by their participation in activities within the event, and simply by their presence at the event. Burn participation is encouraged by all ages and there is a growing demographic of families with young children, overseas travelers, and pre-retirees and retirees (50 to 70 years old).

Specific practical guidance is provided to the event participant in the 'Survival Guide' prepared and updated each year. New and returning participants are strongly urged to acquaint themselves with the content of the Survival Guide as lack of preparedness or current knowledge of the evolving arrangements for the provision of services can severely curtail a participant's ability to fully participate in the event. The event is attractive to and supportive of participation by people who are challenged in the areas of physical and mental health and sociability and social skills, and provides a considerable depth of medical, psychological and social support utilizing contracted and volunteer services.

The event organizers recognize that Theme Camps providing music and dance venues are a core and valued part of the Burn experience. Music Theme Camps have evolved and diversified and provide very high quality DJ and live and participative music performances. Music and dance, however, are only two of many aspects of the event and there are a considerable number of Theme Camps built around artistic, reflective, healing, supportive and playful concepts. Nevertheless, there remains a strong public perception that the event is a 'bush doof', a misconception that is being consciously addressed by the event organizers through a more extended process of ticket purchase, and by greater involvement of the Burn in public events.

There are constraints on participation in the event. Firstly, there is no provision for 'free tickets' and there is a strictly limited number of discounted tickets for people involved in volunteering, in Theme Camps and for residents of the local community. Tickets are only available via a process of pre-registration which works to ensure that participants are congnizant of principles of the Burn, and of the 'Terms and Conditions' attached to the ticket, which include (but are not limited to):

  • While Kiwiburn has endeavoured under New Zealand law to ensure safety at this event, you voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending this event and release Kiwiburn from any claim arising from this risk.

Participants are reminded that all State laws and regulations apply on site, and that the organizers will refer violations of the law to the Police if they come to their attention. The organizers and participants have built and maintain a very good relationship with the Police who maintain a presence on site during the event.

Getting To and From Kiwiburn

  • location and routes
  • Road conditions, including at various times of day
  • general care and safety, road regulations
  • Public transport
  • Vehicle hire and care
  • Vehicle share

  • fuel and supplies availability en route, and at closest towns
  • supporting local economy, ordering supplies locally - options

  • vehicle parking and movement onsite.
  • shuttle services

Other nearby attractions:

Carbon Offsets

In 2008 $2.60 of each ticket ($473 in total) was donated to The Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust as a carbon offset.

Other Events and Activities

Significant Dates



Official accreditation process. Rules for photograpy and videography.

Internal Publications

The Burn's website.....

The Burn's social media presence.... (official and unofficial)

The Burn's newsletter.

  • Since
  • Explanation of name
  • Access to current and previous copies
  • Subscription process

Commercial Media Coverage

Kiwiburn provides a Media Kit for commercial media

  • News articles

Blogs, Videography and Reports


See Also


Official Site: *
Facebook page: *