About Us

Relieve is an association of experienced designers, builders and users of composting toilets. Our group formed in response to the Christchurch earthquakes, where we co-initiated an effort to provide information and support to the people in Christchurch who were doing without their usual sewerage systems.

Since then we have continued to contribute to this kaupapa, which is about:

  • Growing community resilience by providing individuals, whanau, businesses and community groups with the knowledge, skills and materials they need to setup and manage simple and effective composting toilet systems for emergency or everyday use.
  • Helping emergency planning groups to make composting toilets their first option in emergency sanitation by providing reliable professional consulting services.

The members of our association undertake our work both collectively on a project basis and individually through our own private consultancies. We share resources and peer review each others work where appropriate.

Thus far we have focussed our efforts on composting toilets, but our members also have strong experience in the areas of shelter and water.

The current members of Relieve are:

Matt King

Matt King is based in Otaki, on the Kapiti Coast where he runs GreenEarth Development, a consultancy company focused on project design and management in sustainable construction and community development.  Wearing many hats, Matt bounces between community development projects and sustainable building and general project management. Currently the focus is on developing the Emergency Compost Toilet for sale.

Over the last few years Matt has travelled and worked through Indonesia and Papua New Guinea managing aid projects related to community resilience and tsunami recovery.

In an extension of the work Relieve has undertaken, Matt is working with Civil Defence Wellington to bring compost toilets to the attention of local authorities and potentially as a preferred emergency response solution.

Matt takes a keen interest in bringing the benefits of composting toilets to the mainstream. In his work he designs and builds composting toilets and has a toilet set up in his home. See www.greenearth.net.nz for more information.

James Bellamy

James has been responsibly dealing with his crap for decades now and when in Christchurch for the February 2011 earthquake, co-initiated a group to run community workshops and share their knowledge of composting toilets.  James has designed and installed a breadth of compost toilets over the past 12 years, including some urban installations as well as remote installation which include for the Department of Conversation.  James’s dealings with crap have been a life long journey, both psychologically and physically, but he finds excitement from turning crap into a resource. James runs a business called Pookeko Loo’s and constructs permanent and emergency compost toilets.  James is also a sustainable builder and runs a socially responsible construction company based in Whangarei, with a focus on public facilities and building structures that resonate with and utlise the local natural setting.

Gary Williams

Gary has over 30 years experience as a professional engineer in the field of water and soil resources.  His areas of expertise include catchment and river management, natural hazard identification and mitigation, infrastructure protection, water quality and treatment, economic and environmental evaluation and technical mediation.  He is qualified to give building approval for domestic greywater re-use and compost toilet systems.

Gary and his partner Emily live on a small farm where there is a wide diversity of farming and forestry activities, from home gardens and orchards to staple crops, pasture, firewood and plantation forests and retired wilderness.  Their stewardship of this land is guided by the principles of permaculture and the practices and methods of organic and biodynamic agriculture.

Gary is a teacher of permaculture and provides advise and design assistance to people and communities seeking a more resilient and sustaining way of living, which reflects the nature of their place.  He has written books on alternative economics and cultural transformation.  His website is www.waterscape.co.nz.

Lisa Johnston & Greg Inwood

lisa-toilet photo

Lisa and Greg live in Wanaka, where they have successfully used and managed a compost toilet for several years. When the Christchurch earthquakes struck, Lisa collaboated with others in Relieve to organise and deliver a series of community workshops on how to make and manage a simple emergency composting toilet.

At home, Greg & Lisa uses the simplest kind of home-made composting toilet, and it reaches thermophillic ( hot) composting conditions to produce healthy rich compost which they confidently use on their garden.

Lisa & Greg offer informative workshops on how to set up and manage your own compost toilet, which they have given in Wanaka, Hawea, Alexandra and Nelson. Greg also makes and sells beautiful macrocarpa toilet boxes. They also offer a range of compost toilet services from design, to build, to maintenance training. Their instruction manual for their toilets is freely available here.

To arrange a workshop in your south island town, to discuss a compost toilet project, or to get your hands on one of their beautiful hand made box toilets, you can email: greginwood (at) actrix.co.nz, or call 021 1633 811,  or see our Trademe listing here.


11 Responses to About Us

  1. Emily says:

    Hi, I read in an article that you make and sell wooden boxes for the bucket/loo to go in. I would be interested in buying one. Please could you let me know if this is possible and how much they cost? Many thanks. Emily 021 1066150

  2. Donna Hansby says:

    Do you run courses on building and managing composting toilets.
    We built a bach with a conposting loo with holding container under house and because we only use it now and then it is very smelly and not working.What can we do regarding this situation.We just use wood chips.
    We are soon to build an off the grid home for the 2 of us and really want to have a composting system that will work well for that home where the majority of our time well be spent
    Look fotward to your answers.
    Regard Donna Hansby Coromandel.

  3. Charles Te Kowhai says:

    Would like to become an advocate of thermophillic composting of human waste.

  4. sudarshan chetri says:

    hi, Good Morning.
    its me sudarshan chhetri from Darjeeling, India.
    I’m very much intrested about your camposit toilet.
    I want to know more about this composit toilet & is it pissible to install or use in Darjeeling?
    Here in Darjeeling we are facing water crises & I want to do something new to reduce water crices. So is it possible to install here in each & every house ?

  5. Jules says:

    This is awesome!

    • James Bellamy says:

      I would say it is not hard to use, very simple, but definitely different to a flush toilet, where you get to flush and forget.

  6. Tim says:

    Hi. Am interested in making or purchasing a composting toilet. My email address is timjlerew@gmail.com. thanks Tim

  7. K Cresswell says:

    Can you please email me prices for the single toilet? cheers

  8. Adam says:

    Am after information on permanent composting toilet. Currently using 2 bucket on 9 acre block but wanting more permanent solution.

  9. Jody Toroa says:

    Kia ora – our Iwi are investigating alternative waste management systems to address;
    – immediate development of wharepaku for our marae which will carry/ service a smaller marae/kohanga and 6 kaumatua flats
    – a wider waste management required for our village/community as we are 30 mins from gisborne, high water tables etc
    – keen to advance a community system for health and wellbeing of land, waterways and whanau as we want more kaenga in the village

    at present the solutions scoped are mainstream and hitting on 250K investment which doesn’t address the above

    nga mihi look forward to your response

    na jody toroa (022 605 0852)

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