New Zealand: Ashburton’s New Community Justice Green Project

In Ashburton, New Zealand, a remarkable initiative called the Restorative Garden is blossoming. This progressive project mandates non-violent juvenile offenders to construct a community garden as part of their sentence. The yield from the garden is then either donated to the community food bank or retailed at the local Farmer’s Market. The proceeds from the sales are channeled back to restorative justice project , ensuring its long-term viability.

What’s particularly heartening about this endeavor is its holistic approach. While the project serves its purpose in meting out justice, it also imparts valuable life skills to the participants. They’re not only learning about horticulture but also about responsibility, commitment, and the joy of giving back to society.

An article from The Ashburton Guardian shed light on this unique initiative, sparking our interest. We’ll be closely monitoring the evolution and success of this restorative justice model.

Mr. Clifford, one of the project’s spokespeople, emphasized, “Community service shouldn’t be a dreaded punishment. It’s an opportunity for these young individuals to acquire meaningful skills and contribute positively to their community.”

He also cautioned that participants should be prepared to put in genuine effort. “This won’t be a walk in the park. They’re expected to put in hard work, especially since everything will be done manually, without relying on heavy machinery. Such challenges, though demanding, will instil resilience and strength in them for their future endeavours.”

For the full details on this inspiring initiative, read the article here.


What is the Restorative Garden Initiative?

It’s a project in Ashburton where non-violent juvenile offenders build a community garden. The produce is then given to the community or sold to fund the project.

How does this project benefit the community?

The community benefits from fresh produce, either through the food bank or the Farmer’s Market. Additionally, it promotes a sense of unity and rehabilitation.

Are participants paid for their work?

No, the work forms part of their community service sentence. However, they gain valuable life and work skills.

How is the project funded?

The project is initially set up through community funds. Continued funding comes from selling the produce at the Farmer’s Market.

Will there be any expansions or similar projects in other parts of New Zealand?

The initiative is still in its early stages, but if successful, it could inspire similar projects in other regions.”