Ron Finley the Gangsta Gardener from LA sees gardening as a tool and metaphor for community transformation. He visited Lower Hutt in August 2018 as part of the Visa Wellington on a Plate festival.
Te Awakairangi Health Network, Hutt City Council and Healthy Families Lower Hutt are proud to have supported Ron to bring his gangsta brand of disruption to two events in Lower Hutt. The intent behind them was to use Ron’s visit to activate local leadership, to enable community action, to increase food sovereignty, accessibility and equity through māra kai.
The first event held at Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub was for an audience of key stakeholders within health, local and central government and community sectors. A key element of the Koraunui event was to bring together the insights and views of a diverse range of stakeholders who all have an interest in addressing access to healthy kai. Nine small groups spent a rapid 20 minutes discussing two simple questions:
What can you do in your role, organisation or community?
What actions do we need to take together?
The emerging themes from the workshop session have been analysed and are represented in this visual:
The second event, He Kai, He Whenua was a free community event held in Wainuiomata hosted by Wainuiomata Marae, TiHei Rangatahi and Love Wainuiomata. Attended by over 70 people from within the Wainuiomata community as well as urban gardening enthusiasts, this event included practical action in the form of building garden beds in the reserve next to the Wainuiomata Hall.
The intention of bringing Ron to Lower Hutt was to spark not just discussion but action to create a healthier food system for all. Get in touch if you are interested in taking action or want to know more about what is already happening across Lower Hutt.
Here are some of the highlights of Ron's visit to Lower Hutt:
Check out some of the media coverage from Ron's visit:
- Gangsta Gardener changes food attitudes in Wainuiomata (Stuff)
- Los Angeles' gardener hits Wainuiomata for He Kai, He Whenua (Wainuiomata News)
- Los Angeles Gardner a hit in Wainuiomata for He Kai (Wainuiomata News)