The Family Recovery Garden Te Oranga Rā is a garden to bring public awareness to the family and community issue of addiction and recovery. Re-designed and built in collaboration with Odyssey House Christchurch, the garden opened in April 2017 and has been operated and maintained by the residents of the house. Prior to 2017 the space was known as Places of Tranquility.
The garden, with a large horse chestnut tree, berms of native plants and sweeping lawn, boasts strong landscape features and built elements, all carrying meaning for the journey of recovery. A large open air Whare (house) represents Te Whare Tapa Whā, the four pillars of Māori health which are carved into the four corner pou (posts). Inside the whare is a long table for sharing kai, perhaps cooked at the BBQ shed.. a fold down community BBQ and storage shed. A walkthrough pergola with stepping stones names 12 values of recovery with each step… nearby a circle of benches known as the ‘talking circle’ is regularly used by the residents and visiting groups. Raised garden beds are growing flowers, herbs and veggies as an offering, ‘giving back’ to the community, which is an important aspect of the garden and the recovery journey. At the entryway to Te Oranga Rā are mounds of riverstones, some are colourfully decorated with messages of hope. The high profile site on Cambridge Terrace is a tranquil juxtaposition to the popular Margaret Mahy Family Playground, just across the Otākaro River.