Kōia – mana kai, mana tangata

About This Project

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
E: steve.francis.taiao@gmail.com

Backbone, Projects