Hospi­tal gar­dens to help health

Northern News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Healthy Fam­i­lies Far North, in part­ner­ship with the North­land Dis­trict Health Board and Te Hiku com­mu­ni­ties, is on the verge of bring­ing back a her­itage tra­di­tion of hospi­tal-based com­mu­nity gar­dens in the Far North.

Kaita¯ ia Hospi­tal has of­fered up sur­plus land to de­velop kai and ron­goa¯ gar­dens at its child and youth ser­vices fa­cil­ity, Te Roopu Kimiora.

The hospi­tal pre­vi­ously housed large gar­dens at the site many years ago, but they have since de­clined.

The idea to bring the gar­dens back was first seeded at a meet­ing ear­lier in the year, with North­land Dis­trict Health Board gen­eral man­ager Jeanette Wed­ding pitch­ing it as an ideal mar­riage be­tween pri­mary and pre­ven­ta­tive health­care.

‘‘A hospi­tal-based com­mu­nity gar­den has un­told po­ten­tial. As a means of pro­vid­ing path­ways for training, feed­ing and treat­ing pa­tients and their wha¯ nau, eco­nomic ca­pac­ity, food res­cue and so forth. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are truly ex­cit­ing,’’ Wed­ding says.

Healthy Fam­i­lies Far North kai­whaka­haere Shirleyanne Brown says the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing able to con­sult with vul­ner­a­ble clients in the calm sur­rounds of a thriv­ing gar­den is a unique po­si­tion for the ser­vice to be in.

She an­tic­i­pates that the first sod will be turned be­fore Christ­mas with a bless­ing cer­e­mony.

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