Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch! By Chloe Waretini

Pledgeme projects

About Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

Project 2017-02-13 15:23:00 +1300

Introducing the Ōtākaro Orchard Project

The Ōtākaro Orchard  will be New Zealand's first urban food hub. Located in the heart of the Avon River Precinct between the Town Hall and Margaret Mahy Playground, it will be a place that locals and visitors alike can gain knowledge and inspiration about sustainable food systems in practice. 

The project has three parts :

  1. An Edible Park featuring a heritage orchard, multiple herb and vegetable beds showcasing a variety of growing techniques, space for educational workshops and an amphitheatre for public gatherings and events.

  2. A Local Food Information Centre and Cafe housed in what we envision will be Christchurch's most regenerative building.

  3. A Dome which will serve as an indoor food production and classroom space.

The Ōtākaro Orchard  will serve as the welcoming front door to the local food resilience movement with has been gaining momentum since the earthquakes shook our city apart. In that time we realised that supermarkets carry only 3 days worth of food and if our supply chains get disrupted we go hungry. Community gardens became important places of refuge and connection as well as sources of fresh food.

In the past few years the Food Resilience Network has been holding a collective vision of Christchurch as an 'Edible Garden City'. A city where every citizen has access to the fresh and healthy food they need to live well. Research has shown that up to 40% of Cantabrians are food insecure which means they can struggle to have access to the food they need. Reimagining our urban green spaces as edible ones is a key way we can start to change this. We hope that by establishing the Ōtākaro Orchard as proof that these kinds of spaces can work, that many more can become possible in the city.


Location of Ōtākaro Orchard

Location of Ōtākaro Orchard site

And now, we're so excited to announce that exactly a year since the former Prime Minister John Key launched this project we're almost ready to start construction on Phase 1 - The Edible Park!

With your help, in the coming months we'll be transforming this rubbly lot (previously the offices of Ernst and Young) into an urban oasis that produces tonnes of food each year for our community.

Imagine wandering along to this site at lunchtime and picking ingredients to put in your sandwich, coming by on the weekend to learn the art of growing tomatoes, relaxing in our amphitheatre in the evening watching a local musician play, equally serenaded by the smells drifting over from the herb garden...

More about the project :


Latest design for the garden - download at https://goo.gl/RDy8iG

Latest design drawings of park - download PDF from https://goo.gl/RDy8iG

Progress so far

In 2015, almost 200 people from over 30 groups and organisations worked together to craft the proposal to CERA to develop this site.


In the past year since this proposal was approved we’ve built an amazing team to bring this project to fruition. Each Wednesday landscape and building architects, engineers, permaculturists, composting toilet fanatics, project managers, construction companies and community activists come together to progress this vision.


Thanks to the generosity of Goom Landscapes we now have a buildable design for the park and City Care JFC JV have signed on as our construction partner running the project on a cost reimbursement basis. We’re approaching suppliers of the landscaping materials to come on board as in-kind sponsors.


So far the project has received over $300,000 in public donations and grant funding. Now we’re firming up final details and getting ready to start construction of the first phase!



Names of early donors to the project, painted on the historic shed on site.

Here's where you come in

In the interests of transparency, we’re sharing our live budget for the landscaping with you in this Google Spreadsheet.

Whenever we get a finalised quote or sign a sponsorship deal with a supplier it will be updated. The goal is to get the total as low as possible by the end of the campaign with our crowd contributing both money, materials and connections.

The lower we can get the number, the faster we will be able to build the park. And the less we cut into the funding we've already received for the project, the faster we will be able to build the building later in the year too.

If we reach the $60k target we’ll be able to get the first stage of the landscaping done pronto - excavating the site, putting in the pathways, soil and planting. We want to get lots of food growing on this site as soon as possible!

If we reach $80k then we’ll also be able to press go on constructing our amphitheatre - the focal point of the whole design. If we get even more than that then we’ll be able to add all sorts of beautiful finishing touches like the curving metal trellis around the top of the amphitheatre and bench seating around the park.

Thank you so much for your support.

Feel free to ask questions or contact us at any time - we would love to hear from you!

Project Coordinator Chloe Waretini - [email protected] / 027 696 4968


The People Behind Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

Chloeportrait Chloe Waretini Project admin

I'm passionate about creating urban spaces which regenerate our connection to the natural environment and our local community. I believe that for our cities to be vibrant places then citizens need to be creatively involved in making them. I moved to Christchurch from Auckland in 2014 because of the unique opportunity the quakes created to build a city that is serving the 21st Century needs of humans and the earth and the Ōtākaro Orchard project reperesents this at a deep level. I'm so proud to be leading this community-building effort and can't wait to see it built and being enjoyed by the people of Christchurch.


    We've made our target!!!! What happens now?

    09:16AM Thu 30/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    Firstly, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! We've been so totally blown away by the generosity of our crowd. We've now raised over $60,000 in pledges from all of you, and on top of that we received almost $15,000 worth of rewards from our community. Crowdfunding is the most involved fundraising we've done for this project, but also by far the most rewarding knowing you're so behind this vision we're bringing to life.


    The campaign is still running until 8pm tomorrow and we'll be accepting as many more pledges as we can get until then. We still have lots of rewards available so, if you're willing, please share this message around and keep encouraging your people to pledge. I promise you we'll every dollar to good use.

    Tomorrow night from 5pm we have a campaign countdown party in the top room at Smash Palace and you're all incredibly welcome to join us there! It will be so amazing to share the final moments of this journey with you, our supporters, and see how high we can get the total!

    There will probably be some brief speeches, I might also cry from happiness and do a dance for you all as an expression of my extreme levels of gratitude! 


    Now that autumn is upon us and we're getting more rain, the first priority is to get the site ready for planting. This work involves excavating the site, forming pathways, putting in irrigation, drainage, electrics and of course soil! Then we'll be able to get you on on site to be putting plants in the ground so the food growing can begin. The cost for this work is $100,000 so the closer to that number we can hit in this campaign, the sooner we'll be able to get started.

    Other than the crowdfunding, we still have four spots left for companies and organisations to join Piko Wholefoods as Founding Family Sponsors for $10,000 each. We'd welcome introductions to people you think might be interested in taking up this opportunity.

    Once this work is done, the next layer is to finish all the paths, and paving install lighting and build our amphitheatre and brick planters. Then we'll be totally open for business!

    Hope to see lots of you tomorrow!

    Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

    Chloe Waretini
    Project Coordinator

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    We're having a party and you're all invited!

    09:24AM Wed 29/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    We're tantilisingly close to reaching our target with a huge swell of good will behind this project so we've decided to celebrate with a smashing crowdfunding campaign countdown party!


    WHERE //

    WHEN // 5-8:30PM THIS FRIDAY 


    Join us in the top room at the iconic Smash Palace for a live countdown to our campaign close at 8pm. There is such an amazing community coming together behind this initiative (almost 400 pledges now!) and we'd love the chance to meet you and share our gratitude.

    There *MAY* be some brief speeches and live updates, but the main goal of the evening is to ensure we get across the line and then celebrate madly with you all.

    Those who pledge more than $250 on the spot (how 'bout getting your name on a brick eh?) will be shouted a drink by our lead coordinator Chloe!

    RSVP on Facebook

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    Kids are doing for themselves, more rewards and some fancy maths about the project!

    07:13PM Tue 28/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!


    With three days to go, we're firing on all cylinders to hit our target! This afternoon we invaded the Margaret Mahy Playground with a troupe of young project ambassadors, even more rewards have been added and we've been crunching some numbers!

    The kids from Ao Tawhiti Discovery school are having a ball getting involved in this project. Today we set up a stand in the Margaret Mahy Playground in town where we hosting gardening activities. games, and of course informed a whole lot of people about the project. We plan for the Orchard to be a key resource and destination in the city for families and schools - a place where they can come to learn where food comes from, and how to grow it. 



    Now the important part, maths.

    Here are some great mathematical facts to know about this project :

    1. Once our vegetable garden is pumping (in mere months if this campaign hits target!), we could be producing enough to give over 100 Christchurch families a big bag of greens each week.

    2. Once our fruit and nut orchard is established (this will take a few years) we could be expecting annual yields of up to 700kg in year 3, and 1000kg by year 5. THAT IS A LITERAL TONNE OF FRUIT.

    3. If every person that has donated to this campaign so far (there are 348 of you now) got another $50 donated through influencing their friends and family then we'd meet our $60,000 target!

    Given #3, here are some proven strategies that work to get others to pledge :

    • Keep it personal - write individual messages, emails and make calls rather than sharing broadly. There's a lot of awareness out there about the project now, we just need to get people to donate *now*.

    • Make an event of it - if you work in a big office, host a morning tea pledge session. Getting people to pledge together adds super valuable social pressure ;-)

    So close now, let's make this happen! 

    Chloe Waretini
    Project Coordinator

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    Christchurch businesses come onboard with more amazing rewards for you!

    02:10PM Mon 27/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    One of the best, best things about this project and running this campaign is getting to experience the incredible generousity of our community - both in pledging on the campaign and in crowdsourcing rewards. After seeing that we had almost run out of many of the lower cost rewards yesterday we put the call out for contributions and got an amazing response! Here are all the new things on offer. Get amongst it!


    From Urban Monk - 12 Jars of Divine Daikon ($20)

    Cultured vegetables at their best! Matt from Urban Monk has donated 12 jars of his amazing cultured daikon

    From Freerange Press - 24 copies of two of their best books ($50)

    Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch
    Landmark book about the Christchurch rebuild which includes 55 written and 39 visual essays from a multitude of authors.

    Don't Dream it's Over: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand Book
    Latest book exploring the changing nature of journalism in NZ and how it might be renewed. A fascinating and inspiring read!


    From Ethique - 5 vouchers worth $50

    Get $50 of the most sustainable and delicious beauty products available in Christchurch! Ethique creates conscious and concentrated, sensational sustainable beauty bars packed full of natural goodness. See ethiquebeauty.com

    From Emily Tasker - babysitting and cake! ($50 each)

    Christchurch babysitting
    Renowned childcare expert Emily Tasker (who has run the childcare at the two highly successful WWGSD conferences) is offering Christchurch parents the opportunity to take a night out with the offer of babysitting services for up to 7 kids!

    Chocolate & red wine cake mmmm
    Amazing baker Emily Tasker is offering up an indulgent red wine and chocolate cake for one lucky pledger. Available in Christchurch.

    From Paint 'n' Sip Studio - 5 Vouchers ($50)

    Enjoy a fun and creative night out connecting with your inner artist at Paint 'n' Sip Studio - drink wine, paint a masterpiece and meet new people! Crazy fun guaranteed. www.paintnsip.co.nz

    From PledgeMe's Jess Ducey -  1 hour of amazing crowdfunding advice! ($75)

    Chief People Wrangler at PledgeMe, with over 10 years of fundraising experience and 3 successful crowdfunding campaigns under her belt, Jess Ducey is here to help you make a success of your crowdfunding efforts! This reward gets you an hour of her time either in person or over skype or email to talk about your project idea. 

    From Kit Hindin - Coaching for for life or business ($150)

    Ready to get unstuck, unlock your potential and raise your confidence? Want to get clear on what you want and go for it? Work with Kit to setup simple strategies for awesomeness in life (mind, body and soul) and business. See kithindin.com Package includes a free 1.5 hour coaching session + follow-up laser session, then an additional 2 sessions offered at $40. Worth $190!

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    Margaret Mahy event postponed due to rain - now happening on Tuesday afternoon!

    08:49AM Sun 26/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    We've made the call this morning to postpone our invasion of the Margaret Mahy Playground until there's a bit more sunshine! 

    Come and find us there from 3pm on Tuesday afternoon where we'll be hosting micro-gardening activities, kids games, a raffle to name a brick, handing out delicious local fruit and more!

    The tours across to the project site will be running at 4pm and 5pm for those who are interested to find out exactly what we'll be building.

    If you're on Facebook and would like to invite your friends to this event - check out the event page here.

    See you then!


    Chloe Waretini

    Project Coordinator 



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    Join us at the Margaret Mahy Playground tomorrow!

    09:14AM Sat 25/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    In the past day, we've had some more amazing people put their hands up to champion the project! We met former All Black and avid gardener Andy Ellis on site yesterday to give him the low down, and have been hugely inspired by some kids from Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School who are determined to make the Ōtākaro Orchard their own - starting with invading the Margaret Mahy Playground tomorrow to engage more families in the project.

    Join us 10:30am-2:30pm for some family fun!

    Molly and Layla from Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School are so passionate about our project that they've decided to get stuck in to help us fundraise! We'll be with them at the Margaret Mahy Playground this weekend hosting kids planting and art activities, handing out delicious local fruit and of course encouraging their parents to contribute to our PledgeMe campaign! We'll be able to take live pledges there by credit card and cash.

    And 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm we'll be taking groups of people over the river to have a tour of our site and find out what's going to be happening there really soon!


    We're so inspired by the passion and ingenuity of these kids. Their inner-city school won't have any green space so their determined to make the Orchard theirs. As well as our action at the Playground tomorrow, they're also organising a school-wide pajama day and selling baking next week to bring in more money for our crowdfunding. Beyond that, their planning to set up a social enterprise selling beeswax sandwich wraps with the profits going to this project! 

    6 days and just over $25,000 to go! This might seem like a lot, but some campaigns can meet as much as 70% of their goal in the last couple of days. Keep spreading the word and I'm sure we'll get there and have a big celebration afterwards.

    Nga mihi nui


    Chloe Waretini

    Project Coordinator

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    Wizard casts a spell / we reach 50% of our target! ---> coincidence, or magic?? Either way we're celebrating

    05:23PM Thu 23/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    It's been an exciting day for our campaign! We're now sitting at $30,442 of our $60,000 goal with 8 days to go, thanks to some pretty magical happenings.

    Firstly the Wizard of New Zealand decided to get in behind the project (turns out he's a big fan of urban food forests). So yesterday we met him on site to capture his performance of a spell for the growth and prosperity of this project. Take a look at the video above - it's pretty impressive!

    Next we got a call from Piko Wholefoods indicating their interest in being one of our Founding Family Sponsors. We couldn't be happier! They're close neighbours to our site and share our ethos of serving the health of our communities through delicious, healthy local food. 

    A lot of people don't know that Piko is fully owned by Te Whanau Trust. They are incredibly passionate about educating and influencing our community about sustainable living and healthy lifestyles by setting a standard of integrity and excellence around organic and local food. Each year they give away their profits to community groups with similar aims and principles. This year they thought Ōtākaro Orchard was the perfect fit and so they've contributed $10,000 to the project. Thank you so much to Brigette and the rest of the Piko team. Such heroes!

    If you know of any other businesses or organisations who would like to join Piko in our Founding Family of sponsors for the Orchard, please get in touch.

    We'll have more good news tomorrow, in the meantime don't forget to follow our Facebook page and of course keep spreading the word! 

    Nga mihi nui

    Chloe Waretini

    Project Coordinator

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    What's on offer for businesses who support this campaign

    01:47PM Wed 22/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!


    The Ōtākaro Orchard team sees business as a valuable part of the Christchurch community we want to engage and showcase in this project and so we've come up with a tempting selection of rewards on offer - especially for you! We encourage you to share these opportunities with Christchurch businesses you know and love.

    $1k package - Frooty McFroot-face

    • Name one of our fruit or nut trees with logo and company website displayed on large wooden tree tag.
    • Shout out on social media, credits on website.

    $2.5k package - Friend of the Orchard - for businesses with similar ethos to project

    • Name one of our fruit or nut trees with logo and company website displayed on large wooden tree tag.
    • Profile on our website guide of 'how to live sustainably in Christchurch' which will also be displayed as signage on site during construction.
    • Shout out on social media, credits on website.

    $5k package - Get your brand on

    • Brand one of our corten steel planters with your company logo and website displayed on one of the sides of the square planters.
    • Shout out on social media, credits on website.

    $10k package - Founding Family Sponsor (max 5 companies)

    • Industry-sector exclusivity.
    • Your logo and website featured on one of our corten steel planters and opportunity to name a fruit or nut tree.
    • A story written about your contribution to the project sent through our channels which reach over 12,000 people.
    • Your logo on the front page of our website.
    • Key mention in our media release on the completion of our successful crowd-funding effort.


    If you'd like to discuss any of these packages then of course feel free to contact me on 027 696 4968 or email [email protected]


    Nga mihi nui

    Chloe Waretini

    Ōtākaro Orchard Project Coordinator

    Comment on this update:

    Christchurch Mayor endorses our project and corten steel planters arrive on site!

    02:13PM Sat 11/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    It's been a busy week for the project - we re-launched this campaign and extended the deadline to the end of March after our initial launched coincided with the Port Hills fires reaching a State of Emergency. Here are some of the wins we've clocked up since then.

    1. We relaunched our campaign and extended the deadline until March 31. This gives our team (and our community!) extra time to ensure we reach our $60,000 target and also meant we didn't have to be pushing this on people while the city was dealing with the horrific Port Hills fires. We made the front page of stuff.co.nz and page 4 of The Press with this article Crowdfunding campaign launched to raise $60,000 for Christchurch's 'edible park' which sent pledges coming in at a much higher rate than before. 



    2. We presented to the Christchurch City Council (see https://youtu.be/Fv41Skgf4g8?t=45s) urging them to get behind our crowdfunding efforts - by spreading the word, connecting us with people who would love the opportunity to invest in this project, and of course by pledging! We encouraged them to have their legacy preserved for decades to come in 'Christchurch's most delicious park' by purchasing a brick, or even stumping up for a tree! This was met with great enthusiasm, with Mayor Lianne Dalziel declaring that "every single Councillor here, including the Mayor, should make a pledge". Congratulations to Councillor Vicki Buck who has been the first through the door!

    3. We submitted an application for over $500,000 to the Lotteries Community Facilities Fund for the construction costs of our building. The application involved pulling together a detailed feasibility study for the project, getting all our costings complete and letters of support from a number of community stakeholders. We'll hear back in the last week or May or first week of June with the funding decision. If this funding does come through it will mean we're on track to get everything built in the next year!



    4. Our glamourous corten steel planters have arrived on site. One of the core considerations of this project is sustainability and resourcefulness. So when our wonderful landscape architects Goom Landscapes heard of some fancy corten steel planters being of surplus requirements at Yaldhurst Village, we lept at the opportunity for them to be reused on our site. They'd usually cost over $2000 each! But thanks to HEB Construction and Move Logistics we've had 9 of them shifted to our site this morning. They'll be filled with delicious vegetables for you in due course!

    Campaign goals for next week

    • Get an updated budget from our delivery partners City Care
    • Put our best face and designer gears on and book some meetings with CEOs of companies we think will jump at the chance to get their name on this project (we're building a list but if you have suggestions feel free to email us [email protected]).
    • Get to at least $15,000!

    One small thing you can do to help this week

    As someone who has already pledged (thank you thank you thank you!) we figure you're probably pretty keen for this whole thing to happen. So here's something that should only take you a minute, and will help us a lot.

    Please share across social media (make sure you tag our page in on Facebook), say that you've pledged and why. Then urge your friends / followers / network affiliates to pledge too! This will help us spread the word, but also to better understand why people are motivated to put their money towards this great project.

    Big thanks

    Chloe Waretini, Project Corodinator

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    Not just crowdfunding, we're finding other ways to make this project possible!

    07:33PM Wed 01/03/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!


    Today was a pretty great day for the Ōtākaro Orchard project. Firstly we received a really wonderful gift from Terra Viva Home & Garden, then we talked contracts with City Care JFC JV who are building the park and found out just how much we might be saving! 

    Kristo from Terra Viva is a huge supporter of the project and today turned up to our site with a truck full of tools and a BBQ grill for us to use in our garden! Often community gardens need to put up with poor quality tools that don't last long because they don't have the funds to buy anything better. The tools Terra Viva have given us are top of the line which means they will be lovely to use, and last the lifetime of the garden (big tick for us with our 'buy it once, buy it right' ethic). They've also given us a store credit to use on seeds, plants and other miscelaneous items. We're so grateful for this wonderful support for the thrivability of our working garden!

    We're also really fortunate to have City Care JFC Joint Venture (the people who built the amazing Margaret Mahy Playground) on our team to do all of the skilled construction works we're not able to do ourselves. We're entering into a contract with them on a Cost Reimbursement basis - which means we'll only pay them what it costs them to build it for us. This could save us up to 35% on the construction cost, more if we're able to also get materials for free.

    We'll be reworking the budget with them in the next week to give accurate figures on the labour cost, then reaching out to suppliers with our sexy Sponsorship Pack to woo them into giving us some ridiculously great discounts. 

    You can also help us source some materials! Here are a few things we're seeking right now :

    • A 10ft shipping container (one of those really mini ones)
    • A few pallets of recycled bricks
    • Native grasses and native trees (think kowhai, lancewood, also kakabeak)

    Comment below or call me on 027 696 4968 if you have a lead on any of these! 

    Huge thanks to the 73 people who have taken the plunge and pledged so far.

    Nga mihi nui

    Chloe Waretini, Project Coordinator

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    FOMO alert - INCREDIBLE new reward on offer from Eaton Drink Co.!

    01:45PM Fri 24/02/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    One of the things I love most about this project is how many people and businesses we come across who really understand what we're aiming to create and give generously to the cause. One of these magical people who has come on board this week is Nikki Collins from Eaton Drink Co. - a catering company famous for their dinner parties, commitment to fresh, sustainable produce, and incredible cocktails matched to the food they create.

    Eaton Drink Co. are now boosting our crowdfunding efforts with an incredible reward - a home dinner party for 8 people (valued at $900!). When I asked Nikki what had inspired her to get involved in the Ōtākaro Orchard, this is what she said :

    "At Eaton Drink Co. we want to be involved with the Otakaro Orchard to not only further our sustainable path, but to help change peoples perception of food - to teach them that there is much more to food than what is on the plate in front of them, and that everyone should be able to access fresh fruit and vegetables regardless of their circumstances. There is thought, planning, design and people planting and harvesting the products they are eating, and that they need to be prepared with respect, and to ensure the whole product is used where ever possible, avoiding waste.

    In this process we have built our own gardens, hot house and chicken coop to supply ourselves with a range of herbs, flowers, eggs, fruits and vegetables to use for our in home dining menus and small dinner events.

    Our vision is to be able to one day soon fully rely on our own gardens to provide the majority of our own produce, but in the catering industry with events of 150-350 people attending there is not always enough notice or space in the current gardens to grow our own products, nor grow the vast variety of plants we would like to use. Until then we will continue to support local, to visit our suppliers and to keep sourcing new suppliers who are growing new varieties and planting in unique suburban areas rather than buying from supermarket chains.

    We would love to see more and more people sharing from their gardens, not only with friends and family, but with neighbors and local cafes, restaurants and catering companies ensuring nothing is wasted. The garden is a place to connect and learn, these things along with fresh healthy food should be readily accessible in a central “edible garden” for those who don’t have the money, space nor time to plant and grow their own produce."

    Thank you so much for your generosity Nikki and Toby! 

    For those gourmet folk out there, I seriously suggest that you book this one in quickly before it goes! 

    If you've got something you would like to offer as a reward for this campaign, don't hesitate to get in touch with us [email protected] <3

    Comment on this update:

    Remembering 22 February 2011 - the history of our site

    01:12PM Fri 24/02/17 on Ōtākaro Orchard Phase 1 - Build an edible park for Christchurch!

    On Wednesday I went along to the Memorial Service at the new Earthquake Memorial on Oxford Terrace. Feb 22 is always an emotional day for me as I connect back to the tragedy that created the space for this project in Christchurch. 

    As someone who has never experienced Christchurch before the quakes (the first time I saw the city was December 2013), it's easy for me to embrace the opportunity to create something exciting and better here while forgetting the biggest reason why that is so important.

    It feels important to me to build back the best city we can possibly collectively dream of because it's the only thing that can bring the slightest possible positive meaning to the immense tragedy this city has faced. It's the best way we can honour those who are no longer with us, and importantly those who are still here. 

    The Ōtākaro Orchard project is a ridiculously ambitious vision for a small community org to pull off. It's the only anchor project which is operated in this way rather than being funded and directed by the government or other large corporates. It's not easy, but it's important for community to be part of this rebuild, creating spaces that embody the values we hold. 

    What used to be on our site

    Our site used to be occupied by Ernst and Young House - the offices of a large multi-national consulting group. The building took up almost all of the site and was demolished in 2014.

    Now our site is part of the Avon River Precinct open space network and accordingly the park and landscaping will take up the majority of the site, with the building just over 10% of the area.



    The other significant part of the history of our site is in what happened next door. The Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) building to the east of our site pancaked and killed 18 people.

    In our design we've been sensitive to honouring the passing on that site, and creating clear boundaries between that memorial site and the new life and vibrancy of what will be happening on ours. We hope that those who were impacted by what happened in the PGC building will enjoy visiting the Ōtākaro Orchard.

    Dedications to the new Christchurch - honouring what has passed

    On Wednesday, I and a few others were moved to make pledges that included a dedication to what has passed in what we are now creating. It's so important to me that Christchurch people want this project in the centre city, that it is serving them. If this resonates with you then even a small pledge to have your name on the project is hugely valuable. If you have ideas for how the past can be further honoured in the project then feel free to email me [email protected]

    Nga mihi nui

    Chloe Waretini, Project Coordinator



    Comment on this update:


      Avatar square
      Tracy Abbot
      2017-03-29 12:22:35 +1300

      Tracy Abbot has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Way to go - apples and damsons !”

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 12:22:23 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Avatar square
      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 12:16:50 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

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      peggy kelly
      2017-03-29 12:11:30 +1300

      peggy kelly has pledged on 1 campaign

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      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 12:07:31 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Heather Holder-Lunn
      2017-03-29 11:59:42 +1300

      Heather Holder-Lunn has pledged on 1 campaign

      “I love the idea of an urban forest for people who don't have garden space for their own trees”

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      Sara Templeton
      2017-03-29 11:53:50 +1300

      Sara Templeton has pledged on 3 campaigns

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      Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers
      2017-03-29 11:39:44 +1300

      Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers has pledged on 4 campaigns

      “Good Luck team!”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 11:25:24 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Becca Holt
      2017-03-29 11:18:44 +1300

      Becca Holt has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Becca Holt :)”

      Robert Urquhart
      2017-03-29 11:02:48 +1300

      Robert Urquhart has pledged on 23 campaigns

      “"No Reward" option seems to be broken. Hope that isn't having a big effect on pledges :( See if PledgeMe will compensate with more days ;)”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 10:37:37 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Melody Page
      2017-03-29 10:32:32 +1300

      Melody Page has pledged on 1 campaign

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      Lydia McLean
      2017-03-29 10:14:52 +1300

      Lydia McLean has pledged on 6 campaigns

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      Arron Perriam
      2017-03-29 09:30:09 +1300

      Arron Perriam has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “All the best with this great project. Another gem for our beautiful city.”

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      2017-03-29 09:27:54 +1300

      Amy has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Fantastic work”

      Louis Go
      2017-03-29 09:22:08 +1300

      Louis Go has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Wishing you guys all the best in the remaining time! ”

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      Ian & Kathy
      2017-03-29 09:19:24 +1300

      Ian & Kathy has pledged on 5 campaigns

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      Jo Pearsall
      2017-03-29 08:51:38 +1300

      Jo Pearsall has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Go for it!”

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      2017-03-29 08:18:29 +1300

      Ingrid has pledged on 1 campaign

      Darren Tatom
      2017-03-29 08:12:24 +1300

      Darren Tatom has pledged on 2 campaigns

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      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 07:39:29 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

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      Amy Clark
      2017-03-29 07:25:18 +1300

      Amy Clark has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Good luck guys! A wonderful project!”

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      Jessea Mucha
      2017-03-29 07:13:35 +1300

      Jessea Mucha has pledged on 1 campaign

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      Duncan Wilcox
      2017-03-29 06:55:07 +1300

      Duncan Wilcox has pledged on 2 campaigns

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      Anonymous pledger
      2017-03-29 06:14:09 +1300

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

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      2017-03-29 05:49:20 +1300

      Summer has pledged on 1 campaign

      Netta Egoz
      2017-03-29 00:07:22 +1300

      Netta Egoz has pledged on 13 campaigns

      “So stoked to see this project get off the ground- an amazing cornerstone for Christchurch ”

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      Anna Henderson
      2017-03-28 23:24:01 +1300

      Anna Henderson has pledged on 4 campaigns

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      2017-03-28 22:54:30 +1300

      Erica has pledged on 6 campaigns

      “Pledging to make an awesome project happen. Go team!”

      This project was successful and got its funding on 31/03/2017 at 8:00 PM.