Kōia – mana kai, mana tangata (Gardening for well-being) is a holistic, gardening-based health initiative (building on the existing Green Prescription), which encourages participation in community gardening to boost physical, spiritual, emotional/mental, & family/social well-being, by embedding positive behaviour change.
Gardening, especially community gardening, is recognised as a significant means for improving health & well-being outcomes for our communities. Research indicates that for every $1 spent, up to $5 of health value is generated.
Medical Professionals refer patients to the Kōia service, which coordinates a program of community garden activities, to embed a regular gardening habit with those whose well-being can benefit the most from this, and they support the participant through this over a period of up to a year.
Kōia not only supports hauora of individuals & communities, but also, indirectly, supports existing & emerging māra kai thus benefits kai resilience, self-determination, the environment/te taiao, community & social cohesion, etc.
Te Ao Māori is an important perspective in this kaupapa, with kaupapa Māori hauora and māra kai organisations & groups participating in co-design; emphasised by co-design workshops being held at marae in the rohe of each of the three Taranaki waka (Aotea, Kurahaupō & Tokomaru).
This project is in its co-design & trial stage until mid-2024, with operational roll-out thereafter. The longer-term ambition is to make this available across Aotearoa. This project is the brainchild of Dr Yu-Ching Yu and Dr Kiyomi Kitagawa but is co-owned by all of the active participants of the co-design process.
BAF is supporting the trial stage of the initiative as fundholder and through back-office support. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, New Plymouth District Council, and in-kind support from CareFirst Westown & Sport Taranaki.
We acknowledge Ruakere Hond in gifting the name “Kōia” to this kaupapa.
To get involved (hauora, māra kai or other community group) in Taranaki please contact:
Project Manager: Steve Francis
P: 021 043 83 90