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A central urban hub launches its final campaign

Mikayla Wright
 Ōtākaro Orchard building in progress
Ōtākaro Orchard building in progress  Supplied by Ōtākaro Orchard

It’s clean, green and for the community. The Ōtākaro Orchard in the heart of Christchurch is in the final push to get their unique information centre and cafe completed and open to the public.

 The fundraising campaign was launched yesterday with a target of reaching $60,000. The money raised will go towards making the building water and wind tight and allow for Aotearoa’s first ‘blue-green roof’ to be finished. 

This roof will have the ability to store stormwater, be host to numerous plants and trees and include a spread of solar panels. 

With the help from this campaign, the building is expected to be open by the end of the year, operating as a local learning hub for growing food and environmental awareness. 


Model of the building - Otakaro Orchard
Mock-up of the building Supplied by Ōtākaro Orchard


Ōtākaro Orchard Chairperson Hayley Guglietta says the site is designed to connect people with the mahi of local initiatives around sustainability and food security in Canterbury. 

Guglietta claims it will be an amazing showcase of local food producers, community gardens and artisans. The cafe will also use produce from the Orchard's own urban farm and gardens right outside its doors. 

The Orchard had a successful PledgeMe campaign back in 2017 that got the project underway. Since then, a thriving community garden has been developed which includes a food forest, various herb and vegetable beds and medicinal plants. 


Otakaro Garden picture
Ōtākaro gardens Pretoria Gordon
Inside of Otakaro building
Inside the Ōtākaro Orchard Building     Supplied by Ōtākaro Orchard

After hundreds of volunteer hours and help from local suppliers, the building is in its final stages, with a number of events already held within it. 

However, the development did go through a number of set-backs - the building halted in 2019 due to a lack of funds. A Food Resilience Network Control Group managed to re-work the budget from $1.8 million down to $690,000 to continue the construction. 

The project is a part of the Food Reliance Network and is the only community-led anchor project from the earthquake rebuild, originating from the Share an Idea campaign.

As well as the ‘green roof’, the building on the Cambridge Terrace will feature composting toilets, passive solar heating, rain gardens and grey water recycling. 

Guglietta hopes people will be able to connect with the place and incorporate what they learn back in their own homes.  

Ōtākaro Orchard Location
Ōtākaro Orchard Location Apple Maps


The Orchard features one of the only free forests in the four avenues and the only urban farm. It’s currently open as a community foraging site and Guglietta states once the Urban farm is fully up and running, there'll be lots more opportunity to provide people with fresh and healthy food. 

Guglietta expresses a number of producers and organisations are enthusiastic to be a part of the finished project, to display and promote the hard mahi of local people. 


Ōtākaro Orchard Pledge me Campaign Video