Friends of the Farm turns 10!

Friends of the Farm turns 10!

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Ten years of making a difference in Māngere Bridge.

In July of 2012 a group of locals met at Ambury Regional Park with the idea to form a friends group.

We already knew we had a great community, with role models who were making sure that the area continued as a great place to live.

Our vision was to create a caring, connected, wastewise community in Māngere Bridge.

A decade of giving

Since then, Friends of the Farm (FOF) members have donated over 8000 hours of their time to a wide range of initiatives, activities, workshops and events designed to help people connect.

Working in partnership with the local Library, we set up a recycling hub for batteries, razor blades and oral-care waste, plus a collection of cool fabric bags to use in place of plastic bags. A community orchard was established and maintained.

Māngere Bridge Community Orchard

Throughout this time the local Residents and Ratepayers Association has supported and assisted us.

Highlights & recognition

Our latest achievements are our website and the newsletter you’re reading right now – both of which aim to connect locals and visitors with everything Māngere Bridge has to offer.

Our work was recognised last month, when a FOF member was highly commended in the ‘Growing the Movement’ category at the Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards.

Also in November, FOF was delighted to present Frances Hancock with the inaugural Māngere Bridge Community Spirit Award – in recognition of her remarkable and quiet service to the community. Janine Nillesen and Caroline Walmsley, who have been with FOF since the outset, received Founding Members Awards for their ongoing commitment to FOF. Caroline’s excellent toast below captures all that is wonderful about FOF and our journey to date!

Looking ahead

Our next challenge will be helping Auckland Council promote the rollout of the Food Scraps collections in our community (to reduce the amount of food-waste going to landfill) as part of our Wastewise focus.

Keep up to date with what’s happening at FOF and in Māngere Bridge at

A toast to Friends of the Farm

By Caroline Walmsley

Let’s look back to the start, with Frances and J9
And an idea of community, family (and wine)
We started with farm day making paper with seed
Which was such full-on work that we decided we’d need…

To do something more wastewise, which was more Council-focused
So we manned the bins, with aroha and purpose
We’ve done workshops on compost, bokashi and felt
We’ve made ice cream – with salt ice, so it didn’t melt

We did night walks and sweet talks and living locally
And a barn dance (which we loved – just Mere and me)
We’ve done pop-ups and clean-ups down by the sea
And a great family picnic with water slide – free!

We’ve recycled, upcycled, collected and made
Plastic bags, eco stuff, tote bags, and paid
For batteries, razors and oral care too
To go to the right place – it’s what you should do

In the orchard we all work with one aim in mind
To keep locals fed with the food that they find
And lately we have mountain bike paths in our sight
And a repair café – quarterly – maybe, we might

We’ve loved working together through bad times and good
And throughout it all we have still understood:
Keep it easy and simple, with friends we’ll be able
To follow our interests, supported and stable

We’ve lasted a decade – just over ten years
Hears to the next ten! Come, everyone, cheers!

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