Hughes Place report

Our mission for the Heart Strings Project is to reduce poverty in Taneatua and surrounding
rural communities through the provision of budgeting advice, growing local food for local
people, and putting whanau at the center and believing in their potential. To create
opportunities for food security through the development of community gardens and social
enterprise initiatives to benefit the vulnerable and socially disadvantaged children, young
people and their families.
We value being the Kaitiaki of the land, and seeing the ripple effect of demonstrating God’s
Its been a busy year, but our small team lead by Keitha Sumich has kept the gardens and
maintenance moving along. We still enjoy going to the gardens to tidy and plant, nothing like
a good day in touch with papatuanuku.
This year we were fortunate to finally have our new Police Station re-opened and a youth
hub under the management of Tuhoe Hauora. The youth hub caters for all ages offering a
gym, music station, a health center with sex education and more.
Pataka Kai:
We continue to fill our pataka with food for the community and work with community groups
to feed vulnerable families in our areas.
Have a Heart Trust continues to supply food to the pataka but their fear is that it may not last
much longer. They are also doing everything they can to support families in need. We
believe times are going to get harder and people may become desperate.
Te Puna O Maataatua have been a great help for our people physically, mentally and
emotionally throughout these times.
Te Aka Puaho invited Moderator designate Rose Luxford and AES Wayne Matheson to
Ohope Marae in September to come and listen to our story, our plans and hopes. Part of the
overnight visit was to take Rose to the gardens and show them what partnership is all about.
Taiwan Group:
We have had many people come into our garden over the years and we have always been
humbled by the conversations that take place in there.
When we told the Taiwan group that they were going to visit our gardens they weren’t
exactly exited lol, and it made me wonder if I had lost my touch,
What they expected to see was huge fields of garden beds lined with rows and rows of
vegetables and they were worried that they would have to work.
What they could see once we arrived was how they could adopt this project in their own
community. And the saddest thing they said was, “we wish we had some land to create this
in Taiwan”.
Edwin Kennedy a former resident of Taneatua back in the 60’s has been watching our
journey from the start. Both him and his wife visited the gardens and ministered
at the Waimana Parish in 2011. they have invited the Moderator and I to Cuba via California
USA from 9th—18th January 2024 to share the story of our garden journey. We know this is
of God, so we have accepted the offer and looking forward to the challenge.

Report by Honey Thrupp