Published in: Kokiri Issue 18 - Haratua - Piripi 2010
Te Puni Kokiri’s Māra Kai programme is helping to sow stronger communities in Te Taitokerau. About 40 rōpū in the region have accessed Māra Kai funding to equip and establish garden beds at marae, kura and kōhanga and in backyards.
“Māra Kai is strengthening whānau development and helping communities to cultivate new skills, knowledge and opportunities,” says Te Taitokerau Regional Director Walter Wells.
“Seeds of positive change are being sown as participants become more self-sufficient and experience well-being and whanaungatanga by working together to support whānau and hapū,” he says.
The He Iwi Kotahi Tātou Trust in Moerewa has made use of the programme to create and extend participants’ learning opportunities. The carpentry students have constructed raised beds behind the nearby Tuna Café. These gardens have enabled kuia and kaumatua to participate in gardening and given them opportunities to share gardening knowledge with youth. For youth involved, the project has instilled pride in the now lush green environment that was once a derelict skating rink.
The organically grown kai is regularly distributed among whānau, kaumatua and kuia while surplus stock has been preserved in chutneys and pickles for use in the café lunches.