Topic: The Rock - Hartford Ave Community Gardens

Topic type:

The beginnings of a community garden ('the Rock') in Papamoa where it is planned that food will be grown for foodbanks and locals, and where the knowledge to grow food is passed on.

Owen has been feeding people from his own garden for four years. In 2012, with Council approval, he began buidling more gardens on the Reserve between Hartford Ave and Santa Barbara Drive. Below is Mayor Crosby (centre with tie), Owen Takuira Ngaropo (centre), Peter Moro from Tauranga City Council (high viz jacket) and Liz (right) a regular volunteer. This is a series of failed photographs because the camera was set on video.

 By November 2012 the list of groups that had helped in some way was quite large but the bulk of the costs had come out of his own pocket.

We were grateful for the practical help from:

  • Tauranga City Council (for the land and bringing in water for us)
  • Mount Engineering (Rick Pearce and staff)
  • Papamoa Police
  • Lavinia Orchards
  • The Papamoa Lions
  • Corrections
  • Farmlands
  • Mangatawa Nursery from the Tamapahore Marae
  • Bay Orchard Shelters
  • Fulton Hogan
  • Firth Industries
  • Envirowaste
  • Poplar Lane Quarry
  • Addline Transport
  • Western Bay Hire Centre Te Puke
  • Fruitfed (Russell)
  • Mico Piplines
  • Bank of New Zealand (Papamoa)
  • Bay HI-AB Transport
  • United Containers

In November Owen met Harley, a local whose property also backed on to the gardens. He began a facebook page which can be found here.  He describes the growth of the gardens below.

Anne and Al Gourley from the Otumoetai Community Gardens gave welcome advice in the early days. Eastern Link and Fulton Hogan (Paul Kite) gave us the right to use a supply of Kiwifruit strainers and posts that had been pulled out of the ground to make way for roading. Lavinia Orchards (Jim and Murray McBride) and a large group of men including many from The Orchard (a Te Puke church)  spent back breaking hours cleaning these up, pulling out nails and taking them away. 

Addline Transport (Welcome Bay’s Smithie and Kerry Anderson) contributed a great deal of top soil and manure which has really made it possible to hit the ground running. Ron from Western Bay Hire Centre freely lent a lot of equipment during this construction period too.  Also getting behind us and sending some young men our way has been Probation Officer Mike McKenzie, Kirsten Jamison, Jackie Allen and Kerry Smith. Additionally, Corrections Boss Mike Sach has got behind The Rock – Hartford Ave Community Gardens.

In may 2012, Sergeant Phil Gilbanks met Owen and praised his efforts on the Papamoa Neighbourhood Support website and in the Email that goes out regularly to the community. In he said "

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with Owen of Hartford Avenue. Owen is attempting to start a community garden in a council green strip that runs at the rear of properties behind Hartford Avenue and Santa Barbara Drive. He has already established one nicely boxed garden that is flourishing with vegetables and is trying to get community members to create one for themselves with his help. The gardens are to grow fresh vegetables and he hopes to get families involved and for knowledge to be passed on in regards to the construction of the garden, and tendering one’s own food crop. I really enjoyed my time with Owen and support his vision and do offer my support to his initiative."

By October Sunlive had heard about the efforts and come out for an intervew. They ran an article in their paper on October 19. Living Channels ‘The Garden Pantry’ filmed us in mid November. This was due to air in January 2013.

Water and Storage

Early November 2012 Tauranga City Council bought water in to a central tap (left). A few weeks later Murray McBride from Lavinia Orchards bought in a drain digger and dug the trenches for laying down the irrigation system (right).  The irrigation pipes were provided by Farmlands and  Mico Plumbing’s manager Terry Greenland sold the connections at a very good price. Jarrad Johns (Owens nephew) of Mico’s came out and looked the place over to make sure we had the right material. Rata, who is pictured above operating the digger, came back in his own time to join up all the irrigation throughout the property.

Rata,  who’d earlier installed the initial tap as a contractor to the Council, came back and connected the irrigation pipes in his own time. The Lions in Tauranga (Mark Sayer, Brian and Cecily Williams, and Blue) put in a great deal of work to source us a ten foot container that we can use to store tools on site. The Tauranga Council provided large pavers to place the Container on. This arrived on the 11 of December, freely delivered by Bay HI-AB Transport and sold at a great price to The Lions by United Containers.

The Hothouse

Manu Takuira and neighbour Norm Egerton built the framing for a hothouse on Owen’s property which backs directly onto the Gardens. Bill Purdey provided the wood. Later Harley and local chippie Geoff Mould helped Owen skin the hothouse. Mount Engineering (Manager Rick Leach) provided steel and labour to create steel boxing to be used in the ventilation. This is still a work in progress.

  • We are also grateful for the encouragement and support of Deb McCarthy of Merivale Community Garden who gave us some potatoes and generously shared her expertise with us.
  • Mangatawa Nursery from the Tamapahore Marae have also supplied us with a variety of plants for very good value.
  • Tiffany Lothian and The Waihi Christian Beach Centre also sent us a large supply of seeds.
  • John Phillips for labour and expertise.

Bank of New Zealand

At the time of writing this The Rock - Hartford Ave Community Gardens had received no funding other than from our own pockets. In December the local Papamoa BNZ's Dona Smith opened a no fees account for us to use (BNZ even popped $50 in to kick us off). Those keen to contribute to the project financially can deposit into the account below:

Hartford Ave Community Gardens, 02-1258-0032207-000.

Discuss This Topic

There are 1 comments in this discussion.

Read and join this discussion

join this discussion


The Rock - Hartford Ave Community Gardens


Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -37.69505789999999,176.2670028

javascript needs to be on to use Google Maps
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
The Rock - Hartford Ave Community Gardens by IamTauranga is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License