Originally published by Māori Television
What was once a pony club is now a lush garden of produce and nutrition for the people of Ōrākei, central Auckland.
Pourewa is a horticulture initiative by Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei, which is growing produce for its people and the wider community.
The ancestral lands of Pourewa were occupied in pre-European times by the Ngāti Whātua ancestor, Paora Tūhāere.
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"We are very mindful to ensure we are listening to our kaumatua and our kuia about what they want to be eating: 'Yes we like kale but we like puhā more'," garden manager Dane Tūmahai says.
There have been a lot of good outcomes from this initiative, such as employment of whānau from Ōrākei and harvesting of kūmara.
It has been more than 100 years since kumara has been grown and harvested by the mana whenua on the lands of Pourewa, and yesterday marked a special day in the Māori calendar and a milestone for kaimahi of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei - harvesting kūmara to provide food for the people of Ōrākei.
Tūmahai was the first employee at Pourewa Gardens. As of today, 14 kaimahi have been employed, most of them from Ōrākei.
With the minimum wage being raised to $20 per hour, Ngāti Whātua has deliberately started its kaimahi on a minimum of $22.10, which is the current living wage.
Although Pourewa gardens and the iwi of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei are surrounded by the cityscape of Auckland Central, the fruits of their labour are revitalising the traditions of their ancestors.