Waitematā Local Board Deputation – 18 June, Powerpoint

The Community-Led Design Group (CLDG) attended the Waitematā Local Board’s 18 June business meeting, presenting a deputation formally requesting support from the Board to enable the community aspiration of a community garden at the rear of the site at 254 Ponsonby Road.

This was further supported later in the WLB meeting’s Public Forum by Places for Good, presented by Boopsie Maran.

We thank the Waitematā Local Board for their time and engagement, and we now look forward to working productively with the Board to achieve this desired community outcome.

Slide 1

Slide 1 – The CLDG, established by the WLB in 2015, has since its inception, reported back to the WLB and the wider community with well-documented and verifiable data.

Slide 2

Slide 2 – The results from our ‘Needs assessment’ consultation formed a foundation guide, for our advocacy work.

Slide 3

Slide 3 – Community Garden planning is underway with 3 x schools. Tamariki have actively exhibited their aspiration for a community garden – as outlined in the ‘Schools Report’ released by the Project Manager – Bill Jackson.

Slide 4

Slide 4 – I am the current President of the Sanctuary Mahi Whenua Community Garden which after 25 years, now faces a potentially uncertain future. We have therefore begun our ‘succession planning’. 

We have seen the desire for what for us would be a ’satellite’ community garden at the new civic space in Ponsonby. It would form part of a network of gardens providing nutritious, community-based food, throughout our local neighbourhoods and the whenua.

Slide 5

Slide 5 – Gardens4health

Gardens4Health works closely with the Sanctuary Mahi Whenua, supports this new project, and has provided the above slide for this PowerPoint.

Gardens4Health are proud to support over 100 community māra kai projects across the supercity of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Through their programme, more than 1,500 community gardeners can share wisdom, seek advice, source supplies, host workshops, and deliver nutrient-dense culturally appropriate kai to their communities. 

Having been a part of the conception of Sanctuary Mahi Whenua and supporting the kaupapa for 20 years, 

Concluding;

…we at Gardens4Health would be thrilled to assist in establishing a māra kai at 254 Ponsonby Road and to welcome the community into our city-wide whānau of gardeners.

Slide 6

Slide 6 – We propose that the Sanctuary Mahi Whenua would umbrella the new community garden at 254 Ponsonby Road, in partnership with Places for Good.

https://www.placesforgood.com/kiaora

Slide 7

Slide 7 – Tamariki from three local schools have inputted their ideas through design workshops, for the mural on the hoardings on-site at 254, facilitated by Places for Good. It was they, the students, who chose to include the pollinator insects and vegetables.

Slide 8

Slide 8 – This design was approved by the WLB – thank you.

Slide 9

Slide 9 – It has now adorned Ponsonby Road for over 10 weeks.

Slide 10

Slide 10 – and it is STUNNING!

Slide 11

Slide 11 – What’s NOT to love about our Tamariki being engaged & excited to contribute to our new civic space, in a way of their choosing?

Slide 12

Slide 12  – ‘Community gardens’ have been signaled to the community for months.

Progressing this desired outcome will avoid any REPUTATIONAL RISK to the WLB.

Slide 13

Slide 13 – Research tells us that children who grow vegetables, eat vegetables. Plus the satisfaction and achievement of growing food is a rewarding skill that lasts a lifetime. 

Slide 14

Slide 14 – When normalised and made accessible, growing food is an enjoyable and social activity that enables young people to thrive.

Slide 15

Slide 15 – The community garden will provide and facilitate intergenerational life enhancement.

Slide 16

Slide 16 – The Sanctuary Mahi Whenua will grow seedlings and plants for the community garden if required. Seeds can then be saved and reared for the following season’s planting.

Slide 17

Slide 17 – …producing an abundance of fresh, nutrient-dense food. LOVELY!

Slide 18

Slide 18 – The Sanctuary Mahi Whenua is a self-funding organic garden, operating successfully for over 25 years. We’re now looking to satellite out and create a wider, more accessible, and available network of community gardens as part of our succession planning. 

It is hoped 254 will be the first.

slide 19

Slide 19 – We grow edible companion plants for the Indian community who create mandala artworks from the marigolds each year. 

Alternating rows of green and dark lettuce create a living artwork – and delicious salads to eat. 

Slide 20

Slide 20 – The gardens are BEAUTIFUL.

Slide 21

Slide 21 – People LOVE to wander through the gardens and enjoy the productive space.

Slide 22

Slide 22 – Auckland Council Community Parks team leader Paul Duffy in 2020 said of community gardens;

“…they are a great way to get into gardening and all the benefits it offers health-wise, from fresh produce, fitness, and social interaction, to cutting food bills and sustaining the environment.

As well as growing vegetables, the gardens have mentors on hand to help pass skills on, so people can continue around their own homes.

“Anyone can learn the skills and techniques they need to be self-sufficient.

Slide 23

Slide 23 – There’s enormous satisfaction in planting your own seeds and watching them grow, then cultivating them through, and eventually being able to harvest your own crop.

And he’s still to meet anyone who doesn’t think; the fresh produce you grow yourself doesn’t taste better than what you buy.

https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/news/2020/09/community-gardens-provide-skills-food-and-savings-in-south-auckland/

Slide 24

Slide 24 – I met with members of the WLB democracy team (Nick and Ali) and Jacqui Thompson-Fell, Auckland Council Parks & Community Facilities service delivery advisor, to follow up on a request I’d made for permission to establish a community garden on-site at 254 Ponsonby Road.

Staff outlined the process, which is why I am here today, and their concerns, that I address now.

A Licence Agreement or ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ could allocate responsibility, expectations, purpose and so on. 

There are many examples of successful agreements for community gardens that can be adapted for this space.

Slide 25

Slide 25 – Concern re rodents

Happily, the CLDG has already reached out to Predator Free Herne Bay who are excited to work with us at 254 Ponsonby Road. 

Slide 26

Slide 26 – The Sanctuary Mahi Whenua has worked with Urban Ark for many years and Jacqui Thompson-Fell directed me to Council’s PEST FREE AUCKLAND and PREDATOR FREE 2050 both of whom could assist with this concern.

Slide 27

Slide 27 – Concern re the potential need for Design plan changes. 

The Design Group, chaired by Project Manager Bill Jackson, through the design process has enabled the ability to provision a Community Garden on the site.

The 3 x garden beds identified in the approved design, have a water supply and taps for irrigation as planned for during the Design Group work.

The detailed design for 254 Ponsonby Road, approved by the WLB, provides for a Community Garden in the garden beds S03A, B & C. Ref LandLAB plans revision E, LA101.

Slide 28

Slide 28 – Site Plan

Community garden beds are ‘at grade’ meaning they’re at ground level and retained within a steel edging upstand that is  150 mm high.

Slide 29

Slide 29 – Concerns re the timing of the community garden establishment – and Health & Safety

This can be addressed by community gardeners;

      – following all safety protocols

      – only being on-site when it is safe for planting

      – undertaking and completing work that would already be scheduled to be done during the final development stage.

      – working ‘after hours’ if necessary

Slide 30

Slide 30 – Concerns re lack of available funding

We are not seeking funding. 

The Sanctuary Mahi Whenua will supply the seedlings and plants for gardens. 

Our people & tamariki from the local schools will plant & maintain the garden beds.

We are not seeking funding. 

ALL WE ARE SEEKING IS PERMISSION TO PROVIDE THIS DESIRED OUTCOME OF A COMMUNITY GARDEN ON A SMALL PART OF THE SITE.

Slide 31

Slide 31 – People who garden are the same people who will pick up litter and pull weeds from the surrounding areas. This will help with the site’s maintenance.

Slide 32

Slide 32 – To conclude;

The Community Garden will be an intergenerational activation where people can come together with the common purpose & desire to grow nutrient-dense food; locally and sustainably. 

Slide 33

Slide 33 – Members of the community & tamariki from three local schools have shown their desire for a community garden at the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road.

Slide 34

Slide 34 – We ask the Waitematā Local Board, to support & enable this community vision & aspiration. 

Nga mihi and thank you.

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