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Launch of Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua Ltd’s Maara Oranga

Launch of Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua Ltd’s Maara Oranga Programme (Healthy Gardens)

Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua Ltd launches the ‘Maara Oranga’ garden project at Parerarua, near Blenheim today. The project involves working with a minimum of twelve whānau, comprising nine kaumātua homes and three whānau from the community, to build vegetable gardens.

Funded by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu (the South Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency), the overall aim is to contribute and enhance the wellbeing of whānau.

Te Putahitanga Chair, Norman Dewes said the organisation was very impressed with the potential of the project to lead to healthy lifestyle choices for whānau, to broaden their dietary and nutritional options and to target whānau wellbeing.

“There are multiple points of focus in the project” said Mr Dewes.
“Participants on the programme will benefit from education in the planting, maintaining and harvesting of crops. Another area of interest will be ways in which to store surplus vegetables and fruit such as preserving, and passing on kai to whānau in the community. They are fortunate to have Dr Richard Hunter, a horticultural scientist well-known in this community to lead the project.”

“Improving the health and wellbeing of whānau has always been the focus of our work and there are definite health and financial benefits for the whānau involved” said Dr Hunter, who also served as kaiwhakahaere for the launch.
“More importantly, this project also looks at the traditional aspects of maara kai, which are often overlooked.”

Dr Rod Bird, Chairperson of Te Hauora o Ngāti Rārua Ltd, said: “We are committed to improving the overall wellbeing of the whānau that we work with. Maara Oranga is one of the services we provide to walk alongside our whānau, supporting their aspirations.”

Te Hauora o Ngāti Rarua’s Maara Oranga project is the second Te Putahitanga initiative to be launched in Blenheim over the last two months, the other being Tiramarama Mai, an alternative education approach pioneered by Maataa Waka Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust.


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