Founder and Director of Rekindle (New Zealand)
Juliet Arnott is Tangata Tiriti, Kaiwhakaora Ngangahau / Occupational Therapist, and Founder & Director of Rekindle. Growing up on a self-sufficient farm at the top of Te Wāi Pounamu, on the banks of the Wakamarina river, under the awesome height of Tutū Māpo, meaning was found in catching droplets of rain from moss on the bush floor, playing in the river in summer or muddy pools in paddocks in winter, trying to weave baskets with rushes, and making camp in the musty dry ‘caves’ under the canopy of the Macrocarpa hedges. Regardless of this rich simplicity, as adulthood drew near Juliet craved the apparent sophistication and richness that the city offered. After finishing study and losing herself to the 40 hour working week and consumerist pastimes, she learnt (the hard way) by her late-twenties that living simply and resourcefully in relationship with nature, was essential to her wellbeing. Since then Juliet has pursued traditionally resourceful forms of craft and her work as an Occupational Therapist as means of reducing the common barriers to meaningful connection with the resources we have within us and nature’s resources around us. Since the early 1990’s Juliet has been awarded for her dedication to social service, most especially during her occupational therapy career which has involved leadership in mental health, return to work, older persons and dementia care services.
This journey led Juliet to start Rekindle in 2010 as a social enterprise focused on creating opportunites for resourcefulness. Since then this enterprise has completed five major projects including creating furniture-making work with timber whilst diverting this from waste postquake in Christchurch, the first ever Whole House Reuse, and a nationwide project that enabled designers to focus on commercial waste. Juliet now lives in Christchurch where Rekindle continues, and is currently instigating an initiative called Resourceful Ōtautahi. This offers workshops for people to experience the transformative value of making functional objects with abundant and undervalued local resources like timber that would otherwise become woodchip, and the fallen leaves of tī kōuka trees.
Juliet believes that everytime we are wasteful we miss out on an opportunity to be resourceful, and that over time our consumerist lifestyles have undermined our wellbeing due to the absence of resourcefulness as an everyday experience.
Juliet lives simply in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand with her fiancé Gregory Quinn and her dog Pip.