The Wonder of Kai

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is bracing itself for the chill of winter by releasing two new digital stories celebrating the connection whānau have with kai and whānau ora.

Coming from a background as hunters and gatherers, tangata whenua have always seen food as a source of sustenance, an opportunity for economic return, as well as meeting the essential needs of whānau.

At the top of the South Island, in Nelson, Whakatū Te Korowai Manaakitanga Trust has been supporting whānau with an initiative to share old traditional recipes that have been passed on from generations.

Te Arotake i Ngā Tohutao a te Whānau are providing a guide from traditional herbs and plants for recipes and cleaning products,” said Helen Leahy, Pouārahi o Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.  “The process of the women gathering recipes from their aunties and grandmothers provided a vital source of connection in conversations that extended way past the ingredients for the meal”.

At the other end of Te Waipounamu in the deep south, Invercargill, Koha Kai lives by the mantra, ‘encourage a life of purpose’, through a focus on Kindness, Openness, Honesty and Ability’.

Koha Kai is focused on creating social transformation within the disability sector through meaningful employment and education leading to nationally recognised qualifications.

“One of the participants in responding to the question, ‘what changed through koha kai, replied “I’ve lost weight, am healthier, learnt how to make foods from scratch and can make them at home,” said Ms Leahy.

“The digital story we are releasing today shares the excitement of the trainees who have been involved in establishing Lunches in Schools, as well as being involved in a maara kai programme funded by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu.   Trainees undertake foundation studies in horticulture, hospitality and work readiness”.

“The gifting of a food trailer by Fight for Kidz has enabled Koha Kai more commercial opportunities towards social enterprise sustainability.

“Both of these stories demonstrate the essential value of kai as a source of nurturing, a connection to whakapapa; and a means of becoming economically secure.   We are delighted to share their success with the world” ended Ms Leahy.

Link to Te Arotake i Ngā Tohutao a te Whānau

Link to Koha Kai


About us: Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu is a Commissioning Agency that works on behalf of the iwi in the South Island to support and enable whānau to create sustained social impact.  We do this by developing and investing in ideas and initiatives to improve outcomes for Māori, underpinned by whānau-centred principles and strategies; these include emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.  Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu also invests in Navigator roles to support and build whānau capability.   

Media Contact: Helen Leahy, Pouarahi, Chief Executive, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, M: 021 881 031

E: A: 10 Show Place, Addington, Christchurch

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