About us

Our mission

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Among all the positive work we do in and around the AUT Community Gardens, our main goal is to provide support to students, staff and the wider community who want to take on and be involved with sustainable initiatives that align with AUT's Sustainability Roadmap.

 

History

The AUT North Community Gardens were founded in 2019 as part of the Lifestyle Nutrition paper within the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Degree. Students undertaking the Exercise Science and Nutrition major were given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a collaborative, sustainable environment and grow their own food as part of the paper. The gardens are directly connected to the Human Potential Centre, an AUT research centre committed to inspiring healthy outcomes for New Zealanders through initiatives, teaching and policy. Find more about the HPC and the BSR below.

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Our Values

Tika, Pono, Aroha

Tika: Integrity - Doing good work
Pono: Respect - How we work together
Aroha: Compassion - How we respond to each other

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Our Aims

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Food security

Improving food security of AUT students and staff as well as the wider community through access to fresh seasonal produce. Access to community gardens has been shown to improve fruit and vegetable consumption.

Experiential learning

Creating hands-on experiential learning opportunities for students. This is known to create a more positive and long lasting experience.

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Holistic Environment

Community garden spaces promote health and well-being through education about food and nutrition as well as opportunities to engage in physical activity.

Social Networks

Creating opportunities for AUT students, staff and the wider community to engage in diverse social networks. Being outdoors and connecting with others and the earth is protective for both physical and mental health.

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Growing a better world

Here at AUT, we're aiming to be the change makers of tomorrow. This starts with sustainable, human-centred design and innovation

Sustainability

Providing support to students, staff and the wider community that want to get involved in sustainable initiatives

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Image by Li Xiaohan

What is Ako? 

In te ao Māori the concept 'ako' means both to teach and to learn. The Akoranga Campus Community Garden Initiative, originally named 'Akogrow', aligns with this meaning; in which students and staff recognise the knowledge that both teachers and learners bring to educational interactions. The initiative aims to create mutual relationships between participants so that they are able to share and learn about food and gardening within a collaborative space.