It all started with The Kai Collective Project which was a collective of community groups and leaders that came together to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, creating a Food Hub that provided local groups and community leaders with food that they then distributed directly to whānau in need in our community.
From here we learned that there were clearly gaps in the food system and the way it worked. So we organised a Social Impact Summit which brought together other kai practitioners across Aôtearoa. At the Social Impact Summit together we created a Theory of Change which you can see here to read more about and the idea of Aōtearoa Kai Journey was born.
In 2022 we then again partnered with The Good Fale, working in kai security in our community. This work consisted of six intertwining parts as outlined below.
Kai Security – distributing kai parcels to local whānau in need
Over April 2022 – October 2022 we distributed 1055 quality kai parcels to whānau in our local community who were struggling to get kai on the table thanks to funding from Ministry of Social Development. These were largely through the Kai Collective Leads local groups who also helped to distribute these to their communities.
Developing and launching an online digital platform – focused on redesigning the food system in Aōtearoa.
The Good Fale with our support worked on and launched an online digital platform – Kai Central which is working on redesigning the food system in Aōtearoa, from indigenous wisdom to leading-edge innovation, the people, communities and sectors across the food system have much to share and do together. Check it out here.
Education – Two series of educational community workshops based around kai sovereignty for whānau and tech activations for local groups.
We ran a series of six online live educational gardening/kai workshops with Emily Gullick from Valley Farm with lots of practical tips and tricks for growing which we had on average 6 – 10 people attending each time.
We also ran five face-to-face workshops in the local community covering the following topics:
- How to make your own homemade fertiliser facilitated by Tricia from The Patchwork Gardens,
- Composting facilitated by Therese Mangoes from The Compost Collective,
- Kai and Korero facilitated by Sirikit from Tamaki Community Development Trust – learning how to make delicious kai on a budget,
- Maramataka and Hua Parakore Workshop facilitated by Kelly Francis from Whenua Warrior – sharing kaupapa Māori principles for growing kai and
- Sharing on the support systems and agencies that kai collective leads can access to help their families facilitated by Tui and Jane from Tamaki Community Link.
Tech activations – Currently still in process. The Good Fale have put together a library of film and VR content and an event kit so people, projects and communities can host a food system film and VR event of their own.
Māori and Pasifika focused kai sovereignty mahi including a talanoa podcasts series and Kai sovereignty workshops run by local tangata whenua.
A five part podcast series of talanoa around indigenous voices and knowledge around food insecurity, food security, food sovereignty and the food system. See more here.
Kai Sovereignty series of wānanga – growing Kai Sovereignty wānanga series with Mātāpuna – Kaihoro and Lorna. These have begun and are carrying on into 2023.
Urban Gardening – setting up vegetable garden beds and chickens in local whānau homes and providing them with ongoing mentoring for 3-4 months to ensure their success.
Partnering with The Patchwork Gardens we are blessed to have Tricia mentoring our whānau who have had their own vegetable gardens or chickens placed in their backyards.
For the gardens we are glad to be working with the team at Whenua Warrior who are providing the garden beds for us. Tricia meets with the whānau and together they decide on the best positioning of the bed before Whenua Warrior come in and deliver the beds. Next Tricia returns again with everything needed to start the garden including seedlings, pea straw and a niwashi tool and helps the whānau to plant the garden and talks about how to look after it. Tricia checks in with the whānau throughout the next 3 – 4 months, guiding them in their growing and any hiccups and questions they have as they learn how to maintain their gardens. Tricia visits and catches up with the whānau again checking on the garden. Throughout these months Tricia touches on many permaculture principles, teaching the whānau about companion planting, pest management, feeding the soil and how to save seeds for the future. The whānau are provided with gloves and seeds and helped to get the next lot of seasonal vegetables into the garden.
For the whānau getting chickens they are provided with everything needed to start out including a hen coop, feeder, chicken drinker, 10kg bag of feed, bucket with lid, hay for the nesting box and two hens. Tricia initially meets with the whānau and checks their space is appropriate then once they have set up their area for the chickens Tricia will deliver the hens along with everything needed and set them up. Tricia checks in with the whānau throughout the next 3 – 4 months, guiding them on looking after their hens and helping with any hiccups and questions they have as they learn. Tricia visits and catches up with the whānau again checking on the hens. Throughout these months Tricia teaches the whānau everything they need to know about looking after their hens including how to clip their wings, general care of hens, the egg cycle and the autumn moult.
All of these whānau are also provided with bokashi bins and fridge bags and mentored about using these valuable resources. From May 2022 – April 2023 we have provided and mentored 35 gardens and 9 chickens for local whānau.
Tamaki Makaurau Auckland Food Support App and Website
We created a small scale, short term food support app for Tāmaki Makaurau to help people, community or organisations to find food support in the Auckland area.
We would like to thank Foundation North, Ministry of Social Development Food Secure Communities Team, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, Auckland Council, Tāmaki Regeneration Company, Lottery Grants Board, Mt Wellington Foundation, Manaiakalani, Goodman Property, Ormiston Hospital, Uptempo, The Southern Initiative, Givealittle and all of our supporters and volunteers.
We are honored to receive this COVID-19 Response Recognition Award on behalf of the whole Kai Collective.
Rākau Tautoko was only one small piece of the collective, the front to the government for the reports, finances and accountability. It was all of the hard work that our kai collective members did for our many communities throughout Tāmaki Makaurau that created and maintained our collective.
Thank you for all of their work that they did through the COVID lockdowns, passing through Rākau Tautoko from the New Zealand Government.
– The Good Fale
– Faith Family Connect
– Synergy Projects
– Me’a’ofa Fungani Methodist Church
– Paired Up (Tāmaki College)
– The Tāmaki Cook Island Group
– Panama Store House
– The Tarawa’s
– Tāmaki Community Development Trust
– Tāmaki Budgeting
– Lalaga Trust
– The Tongan Elderly Group
– Te Waipuna Puawai
– Upside Mentoring
– Life Kidz
– Pan Pacific
We are continuing our work with kai sovereignty in 2023 and look forward to sharing more here again soon.