The Hughes Place Garden Project

Te Taurahere Whatumanawa

Te Taurahere Whatumanawa has
successfully built upon a shared
local vision of providing learning,
nourishment and a place of belonging
for tamariki and their whānau.

The impact of the project has been wider than was ever imagined. It demonstrates the ripple effects of practical work that is grounded in manaakitanga, whakaute and aroha and shows the impacts this
approach can have on individuals, whānau, neighbours, and the wider community.

This is a community demonstrating positive social outcomes and systemic changes for their place. Maintaining this momentum requires ongoing capability development, investment and guidance to see this project shift toward a more sustainable social enterprise model.

We hope when reading this story that you feel ‘Te korowai aroha’, the cloak of love, that has been wrapped around the Tāneatua community and beyond. Te Taurahere Whatumanawa, the rope that ties our hearts together, has truly transformed lives and blesses everyone who steps through its garden gate.anager

With no local supermarket, limited public transport and minimal job opportunities, creating a locally led source of nourishment and connection was one of the main drivers behind the garden.

Tamiana and Honey Thrupp, recognised spiritual stewards at the heart of the community, realised that this place of nourishment could provide so much more for a community struggling with the effects of low employment opportunities, domestic violence and child poverty.

“My childhood was me and my cousins. Eating together, sleeping together, playing together. I worked with my father and uncles here. Those are my memories. It’s about whānau.”

Rev. Tamiana Thrupp

Project and Spiritual Lead

Tamiana, an Amorangi minister of Te Aka Puaho and the chairman of Ohope Marae, is a man committed to sharing his knowledge. With the support and enthusiasm of the other 19 households that call Hughes Place home, Honey and Tamiana worked collaboratively to bring the vision of a community garden on their residential street to life. Hughes Place Garden has since become a place where whānau and friends can come together to share transferable skills, build on local strengths and address local challenges, together. It is through this one community’s drive for change, and the collective social investment of local businesses, services and community groups, that this successful example of sustainable, social transformation took hold.

The Journey



Identifying community needs Rev. Chris Bernard and PSN’s Anne Overton work in collaboration to create a community-wide event bringing the people together. Key contacts across local services and organisations are invited. The Have a Heart Expo is born – whānau can connect with the support services available to them and ask questions without disclosing that they are in need. The Have a Heart Trust The time invested in nurturing relationships deepens trust. The Have a Heart Trust is established with help from the Aroha Fund (PRESCO). Collaboration and collective partnerships develop across the community, sharing resources, time and capacity. Establishing a feedback process An online survey encourages community input, identifies positive outcomes and ideas.

Hughes Place Garden project
Honey and Tamiana Thrupp, respected community leaders, connect with Chris Barnard and Anne Overton. The journey of The Hughes Place Garden is seeded.

Engaging the tamariki
From the outset, the tamariki of Tāneatua are engaged to brainstorm what they want for the garden – creating a sense of  ownership and responsibility.

Sourcing the whenua and resources
Land was gifted by Helen TeWaara nee Hughes, local farmers contributing fencing. Hughes Place families pitch in for a site clean up.

Drafting an inclusive covenant
A covenant is developed to outline the beliefs and values that underpin the garden. The tamariki of Hughes Place sign the covenant – using their paint-covered hands and fingertips.

Growth & Sustainability
Establishing project committee With Honey and Tamiana Thrupp at the heart of the garden – the supporting committee consisted of Chairman, Administration, Planning and Event Management roles and responsibilities. Developing local leadership Honey and Tamiana are selected to attend the KCML (PCANZ) Lighthouse Incubator, a pilot focused on developing ‘new ways of being a church’ together with future leaders to deliver those services. Developing sustainable food sources The Hughes Place Garden Project evolves to become the Hughes Place Food Production Project. Ideas and future planning The Farm Project in Ruatoki is established to become part of a sustainable social enterprise.
Ripple Effect

A spiritual place of belonging
The garden plans and runs community fundraising events, holiday programmes, opportunities for prayer and worship, and events that raise awareness of domestic violence and support rehabilitation.

A place to heal, serve and reconnect
The garden collaborated with Corrections New Zealand to provide an alternative means to serving periodic detention obligations – with young offenders building planter boxes in the garden.

Widening collaboration
Whakatāne Rotary club has gifted
money and time to help build
chicken coops.

Saint Kentigern’s School agreed to
create additional planter boxes,
a new playground with sun cover,
picnic tables, and provide more
books for the library.

The Hughes Place Garden Project is a heartwarming example of what can be achieved when a community works together.

It is increasingly associated with “healing and regeneration: making amends and moving forward”.

Hughes Place Garden has also developed in a way which is contributing to the growth and circulation of money in the local economy.

There is an increased experience of interdependence and reciprocity among local people.

While supporters remain focused on delivering produce, events and programmes, they also have a strong “willingness to join in on other things” and cultivate extended ripples of trust and new relationships as they go.

Lived experiences of how “we can be better together” and how we can “lean on each other” as a community means that slowly, through the garden, “the challenges over Tāneatua are being lifted”.


It is clear that from small conversations, big ideas can grow.

Hughes Place Garden has achieved its aim to provide food security for the residents of Hughes Place and for the community of Tāneatua.

The project is also creating a safe pathway for tamariki and whānau to find belonging, support and connection.

A weaving together of connections grounded in deep caring has led to many positive outcomes for local people and their community. Not only that, the garden has helped develop ways of thinking, being and doing things together that were not present before.


Thank You to Our Partners & Sponsors