Our District

Community Garden Parties

Kāpiti Community Garden Parties are taking place across the district through late summer and autumn. Free workshops, activities and festivities are happening in eight gardens across Kāpiti from Feb 13th - April 15th. It’s about gardening, but also recognising the wider role community gardens can play in community building, education and encouraging local food production. Each party is a unique reflection of the community and the garden.


Garden Parties: because community gardens are about more than gardening

Hannah Zwartz reflects on travelling to US and Cuba hoping to find a magic formula for community gardening. She explains the rationale behind our Community Garden Parties and introduces what's coming up first - at the Māoriland Hub and Moa Orchard Gardens. Read More

Gardens help you get through

Food is something we all have in common – everyone needs to eat. What happens to our food security when not only the fridge and pantry are bare, but also the supermarket shelves? Recent events in Takaka brought home how quickly supermarket shelves can empty when roading or transport are disrupted. A strong local food network is vital. You can’t get much more local than food you grow yourself, and the best place to start is your local community garden. Read more


Party on! The final two garden parties in this year’s series are coming up in April. A mix of garden learning, harvest sharing, kids activities and, for these two parties, a chance to test drive electric cars and bikes.

Food is the biggest part of the average household’s carbon footprint but transport comes second, says Sustainable Communities Coordinator Vanessa Crowe, and if we care about the future of our planet we need to find alternative forms of transport that don’t rely on fossil fuels.

Ōtaki College Community Garden Party: Saturday, April 7, 11am-3pm:

233 Mill Rd, Ōtaki: 

This year, the Square Foot beds have proved a prolific and convenient way to grow huge amounts of produce in a small area – learn more in the morning workshop. Stay on to make your own pizza in the wood-fired oven (there will be veges and herbs available from the garden, other contributions welcome), washed down by some ginger beer before test-driving one of the electric vehicles, and refining (or kick-starting) your compost habits. And check out the extensive college gardens and orchards, worked by a mixture of students and volunteers.

Workshops (under cover, these will happen rain or shine. Koha appreciated.)

11:30am: Square Foot Gardening: Those who have tried this are raving about it - for those who want to know more, come and see how it simplifies planting and harvesting, to get the most out of a small area.

12:00: How to make Ginger Beer - a demonstration and tasting of ginger beer - take home your own bottle.

1pm: Planting in containers - whether you're a renter, space-poor or just like the convenience of having salad and herbs by your door, come and plant a container to take home.

1.30pm: Worm farming and composting - what's the best system for you? Compare options for recycling your kitchen and garden 'waste' into valuable plant food with Green Gardener Hannah Zwartz.  Full details here

Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre Garden Party, Ngahina St. Paraparaumu, Sunday April 15, 2.30-5.30pm

This community garden, tended by a regular monthly working bee, is a demonstration for waterwise techniques- ollas, slow release irrigation and careful planting.

There will be refreshments and soup from the garden, and electric vehicles available for a test drive.

2:45pm: Worm farming – How to get thousands of helpers in your garden. We take a look at a small home-sized system and the massive Council wormfarm.

3:45pm: Winter crops: It’s time for a changeover- what to grow in your garden over winter.


See photos and stories of the parties so far:

Māoriland Hub, Tuesday 13 February

Taiao Tuesday provided an inspiring mix of korero and kai, in-between admiring the newly established Māoriland Community Garden. Read more and see photos

MOA Orchard: Jeep Rd Domain, Raumati South, Saturday 24 February

The weather smiled and crowds turned out for Raumati South’s Community Garden Party at MOA orchard. The afternoon began with a walking talking workshop from Cree Hatfield, rolling into a picnic dinner and music. Read more and see photos


Dream Catcher Co-op, Saturday 18 March

A warm sunny day and a line-up of interesting workshops bought people from across the district to the Dream Catcher Co-op Garden party.  Co-op members shared their knowledge and expertise, beginning with Steve Portious and Berylla Jones running a weed foraging workshop where participants learnt about what’s edible and what’s not in the wilderness. A shared pot luck lunch was followed by a food swapping session and a knife and tool sharpening workshop with Simcha Delft.  Later in the afternoon everyone pitched in to finish the first of the co-op's community garden beds. Read more and see photos


Matai Community Garden, Sunday March 18th.

It was a Family Funday with wheelbarrow races, egg-and-spoon and sack races,  “like what we used to do when we were kids,” as gardener Yvonne van Leeuwen put it. Sand saucers were a surprise hit with the kids and the barbecue and salads included zucchini, tomatoes and herbs from the garden. Read more and see photos.


Weggery Drive, Tuesday March 20th

People gathered on the evening of the Autumn Equinox to find out more about the garden, and see a demonstration on how to make a no-dig bed (great for this time of year as it should be ready to plant by next spring). Read more and see photos


Paekākāriki Potato and Pumpkin Patch, Sunday March 25

This garden party was initially earmarked to be the potato harvest. But as gardening does sometimes take on a life of its own, especially when the climate is unpredictable, the potatoes did not flourish- so kamokamo seeds were planted in between and quickly took over, with a huge harvest distributed amongst the community. The party continued till dark with a weed walk, irrigation talk, shared meal and bonfire. Read more and see photos