An initiative at a local Kindergarten in Hastings, called Aroahaatea, is bringing together whānau to develop a community garden.
The aim of the Kindergarten is to be an actively engaged workplace that has a connected role within the local community. Through gardens, they have a practical approach to supporting whānau and are able to start good habits with the very young people they care for, as well as their families, by re-connecting them to Papatūānuku and Rongamātāne (to the earth and growing food).
The Kindergarten staff have been working on designing and developing a user-friendly, low maintenance, and sustainable garden space. The space, inviting and accessible, enables whānau to easily engage with the space and contribute in their own way. This space is in ongoing development to cater to the needs of the whānau, so will continue to be maintained and sustained by tamariki, whānau and community.
This garden, as a renewable, sustainable resource, will actively reduce stress and relieve some of the struggle of the cost of kai for whānau. It is hoped that this self-sustaining lifestyle approach will eventually empower whānau to lead their lives with confidence to provide for their whānau. So that no matter what their financial position might be, whānau stresses will be reduced and they will be actively engaged in self learning, as well as improving overall health and well-being, including a holistic approach to Suicide Prevention.
Project Title: Aroahaatea
Organisation: Heretaunga Kindergarten
*This Community initiative is supported by Te Au (and Te Rau Ora) through the Māori Suicide Prevention Fund (2020-2012).