School new home for garden

TRANSFORMED: Deputy Principle Helen Parata says the Pod Oasis has completely transformed the area

A team of 15 mothers, fathers, grandparents and staff have installed a new garden at Rawhiti School, along with members of Greening the Rubble.

The Pod Oasis garden was originally constructed in the Re:Start Mall. But with the mall closing down this year, Greening the Rubble – a charitable trust that creates and maintains temporary public parks on cleared sites around Christchurch – held a competition to find a new home for the garden.

The Pod Oasis, made in 2014, was designed by Johnathan Hall and Gina Payne, and was awarded a silver distinction in the Ellerslie Flower Show the same year.

The competition entry, organised by Rawhiti School Parent Teacher Association chairwoman Stephanie Haskell, said: “Our children in this earthquake-affected suburb need beauty in their lives and the chance to feel special.

“We believe our school is a symbol of the regeneration in the eastern suburbs.”

The school was created through a three-way merger of North New Brighton, Freeville and Central New Brighton primary schools after the earthquakes.

Rawhiti School deputy principal Helen Parata said they were “absolutely delighted” with winning the garden.

Mrs Parata had nothing but praise for the Pod Oasis. “It’s completely transformed the area,” she said.

With how big the garden is, Mrs Parata said it looks like it has always been there.

“The Pod Oasis garden has become a popular place for the children to visit.’’