AUT North Campus Community Gardens
The North Campus community gardens were initially established by the students and staff of a third-year Sport and Recreation paper to provide students with the knowledge and skills to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Since then, it has blossomed into a beautiful space where all members of AUT and the wider community are free to share and enjoy.
Raised Garden Beds
Four raised garden beds were originally built for the as a teaching tool for prospective teachers. Over the years more garden beds were added by the Estates to support the “Foodie Godmother” programme organised by AUTSA with the aim to grow and provide fresh vegetables for students. The 8 garden beds are now referred to as the “Akoranga Campus Raised Garden Beds” and have a range of vegetables and herbs for students to use including beetroot, parsley, lettuce, leek, spring onion, kale, silverbeet, pak choi and rosemary to name a few. Signage has been developed to encourage students to enjoy the community gardens and also display current student projects used within the garden beds.
"The Akoranga Campus Raised Garden Beds and a place to, grow, sustain, and connect. We encourage students to get involved in community gardening and welcome engagement with our North Campus garden beds. The garden is located just outside AJ block and behind the library. There are a variety of vegetables still growing in the beds which are free for anyone to pick and use!" - Lifestyle nutrition students 2023
Please enjoy, help yourself and respect other people working in this space
Native seedings of Smith's Bush
Smith Bush is located in Northcote, a 5 minute walk from AUT North Campus.
Over the past years students have been involved in an initiative of collecting, propagation and germination of seedlings from Smith Bush,
The students would bring collected seedlings back to AUT where Groundsman Niven would support students in germination of the seedlings. students have successfully harvested, grown and raised Kahikatea, Tairairi and Kohekohe.
Steps for successful harvested included:
Collection: students collect seeds that are available at that time of year (march/april), and can be used or needed at campuses.
Germination: Seeds are placed in trays of seed raising mix at the correct depth and spacing for that species.
Progaration: Seed trays were placed in the nursery space, which has an irrigation system which we can set to run automatically and placed in more or less sun depending on species.
Monitor: weed as necessary, remove fallen leaves and wait to see what emerges.
Some native seeds have a germination period of three or four months, so patience is required.
Where: AE building, North Campus
Traditionally Matariki known as Māori New Year acknowledges the dead and release of their spirits and is a time to reflect, be thankful, harvest and feast.
The Matariki gardens were developed in support of Whaea Tammi's vision to connect past, present and future, promoting healthy lifestyles, sustainability, and cultures through the implementation of Te Whare Tapa Wha.
Planting is a very important part of Māori culture, entailing both social and spiritual dimensions. The planting and harvesting of various plants were a collective activity, which encouraged involvement by all members to contribute to the success of the land. Food was acknowledged as coming from Atua (gods) and the tasks involved with gardening such as planting and harvesting were managed and maintained through Tikanga (customary practises), particularly the use of tapu. This deep historical connection with the land has brought about the significance of gardening to Māori people, and the Māra (garden).
What makes the Māra special is its located outside the whanau room which offers a unique space for Maori students to cook kai from the mara and form whanaungatanaga (connections) with others which is at the forefront of being Māori.
Where: Matariki Mara, AE block
A hangi, or traditional method of underground cooking using steam from heated stones, is historical and contemporary, symbolic and utilitarian, communal and individual; and reaffirms cultural values and beliefs. It is a central and vital component in the maintenance of tikanga (Maori cultural customs and practices).
Preparation of hangi takes more than one individual therefore the purpose of hangi is whanaungatanga to connect people and communities through kai (food) and kaimahi (workers).