This year we have supported several internships through the ARTS395 programme, and Matt Morris, the university’s Sustainability Advocate, is working with a number of other students studying various aspects of ‘food resilience’ in Christchurch including in GEOG402 and ANTH360. This fits nicely with the Sustainability Office’s support of Christchurch’s emergent Food Resilience Network, a network of organisations that includes Ngai Tahu, the Christchurch City Council, Waimakiriri District Council, the Canterbury District Health Board and a pile of non-government organisations like Soil & Health Canterbury, the Christchurch Food Forest Collective, Avon Otakaro Network, Garden City 2.0, Agropolis, Tree Crops Association, Kids’ Edible Gardens, Project Lyttelton and many, many more.
Students have been supporting the Food Resilience Network’s goal of launching a Food Resilience Plan for Greater Christchurch with a wonderful array of research projects. These include ecological surveying, mapping of food projects between Rangiora and Diamond Harbour, developing a food resilience plan for St Albans, exploring dynamics between schools and community gardens, writing media stories and publications, and developing communications tools to engage the business and local government sector more directly in what’s going on and why they should get on board.
The Food Resilience Plan itself is part of a government-driven process that is intended to answer such questions as ‘what should be done with the Residential Red Zone?’, and ‘how can Christchurch become a more resilient, sustainable city?’. This student work is, therefore, directly helping the bigger project of the Christchurch rebuild.