In a bid to grow employment within Whanganui's Castlecliff community, a tunnel house has been erected in the Matipo St community garden.

For the past few years the community garden has been a learning pit for Land Based Training horticulture students - now it's expanded.

Matipo Community Development Charitable Trust chair Rosemary Rippon said basically the trust wanted to provide the students with the opportunity to move into the workforce.

"The idea of having this tunnel house is that we can grow plants, in greater quantity, for various community projects," Ms Rippon said.


She said the trust planned to work with Horizons District Council, the Whanganui District Council, Progress Castlecliff and other community initiative groups in a bid to gain contracting work for the locals.

"We want to operate more as a social enterprise to fuel money back into the Castlecliff community and to provide employment opportunity for our locals."

The tunnel house was funded by the Lion Foundation and bought from Fielding supplier Red Path.

Ms Rippon said the idea of the social enterprise was one started by her late brother Craig Rippon, who was murdered in 2015.

"He started the garden and this was his vision, it all got put on hold after his death, but now we are back on track which has been a pretty powerful thing for the trust."

The tunnel house was officially opened on Saturday by Whanganui's deputy mayor, Jenny Duncan.