Why choose a product from Jaia?

    • We believe we make the highest quality products from the best materials on the market.

    • We have many repeat customers which we consider a testimony to the quality, beauty and effectiveness of our products.

    • We are constantly improving designs and are always striving to eliminate the next weakest or least durable point.

    • We maintain a sustainable philosophy of growth, maintaining low overheads, a home business ethic and using local materials wherever possible.

    • After sales service and availability of replacement parts is an important part of our business.  Detailed records are kept of each yurt to help in this area.

    • Our designs are hybrids which incorporate essential traditional designs and aesthetics, but also use modern materials, fixtures and adaptations. 

    • Our yurts are based on the Mongolian design (they are used all over Asia from turkey to Siberia). A Western deviation from traditional is the use of a wire cable around the top of the wall lattice that the roof rafters slot into, rather than tying individually to the top of the wall lattice. This enables very precise dimensions and angles and a super easy and quick construction. We have eliminated the central supporting posts found in most traditional yurts, creating an open and unhindered space. Generally we insert a chimney flue close to the wall, again creating a more usable space than having it central.

    • Our yurts are supplied as a kitset that is both quick and easy to construct or pack down and store. We include clear instructions that will enable a group of two or more reasonably practical people to easily construct a yurt in less than a day.

    • Jaia yurts are durable and sturdy enough to be used as permanent dwellings and as such can comply with NZ building code (see permits and legals page).

    • The 2–pole tipis are a Jaia innovation. They maintain the aesthetics of a tipi, but are much more transportable, weathertight and are very quick to pitch. The 2 poles can pack down to a compact bundle.

Please see our individual product pages for more specific design features of each product.


Introducing Rich

I first discovered the wonder and joy of Tipi Life through the European Rainbow Gatherings in 1987. For some years I travelled throughout Europe with my first hand- sewn Tipi from the Arctic Circle to Spain, Poland to Ireland, making Tipis on an old Singer treadle machine. Arriving in NZ in 93 via Asia and the US, I began living in and making Tipis and other canvas structures. Bluey joined me in the late 90s and we formed Jaia Tipis over a cup of tea, which to this day remains our most formal partnership contract. We prototyped our Yurt designs in the early naughties, incorporating designs from traditional cultures, modern day manufacturers in Europe, and our own innovations and techniques. After all these years it is still a constant source of fulfillment to live and work with these beautiful, ancient and sacred designs. Each one that leaves the workshop does so with the satisfaction of knowing the joy that it will bring to the many who will share that energy, whether it be a home, healing space, studio, sleepout, tourist stay.

Introducing Bluey

Learning to make tipis some years ago, I discovered a wonderful new application for the skills I had learnt as an engineer. I had always enjoyed the thought processes involved in working as a precision engineer but the industrial environment was a constant challenge. I have always loved these structures and feel extremely fortunate to be able to make a living from working with them. Witnessing people's excitement when they take delivery of a new tipi or yurt is always so rewarding.