Kōanga Kai promotes kai security by supporting a network of māra kai across Te Waipounamu
About Kōanga Kai
Kōanga Kai is an initiative that encourages whānau rangatiratanga by building healthy and sustainable kai production practices, influenced by the traditions and mātauranga of our tīpuna. We support entities throughout Te Waipounamu to deliver Kōanga Kai programmes within their communities. By providing physical resources and coaching, whānau are empowered to participate in communal gardens or create māra kai in their homes, and engage in planting, hunting, gathering, foraging, producing, preserving and preparing kai.
Kōanga Kai is about self-determination and sustainability – kai production that puts whānau in charge of creating healthy lifestyles, and that is environmentally and economically sustainable. Below you will find a list of the entities that are currently delivering Kōanga Kai initiatives throughout Te Waipounamu and Wharekauri/Rēkohu.
“Kōanga Kai represents the energy of spring, new shoots of life and the excitement of possibility. It also links us to the legacy of Rākaihautū, who travelled throughout Te Waipounamu and carved out its lakes and rivers using his kō, or digging stick.”
At Christchurch’s Te Pā o Rākaihautū, tamariki play an important role in the development and maintenance of the school’s māra kai, while gaining a profound sense of knowledge of who they are and how they are connected to life in a much broader way.
Ngāti Wheke has a rich history of kai cultivation with produce used for trade in the 19th Century. Today, Michael Parata-Peiffer of Rāpaki is working hard provide whānau within his hapū with māra kai and he’s not doing anything by halves.
Working around COVID-19 pandemic restrictions proved to be a challenge for Waikawa Marae in 2021, but now with “the fundamentals in place,” the benefits from the Kōanga Kai initiative can be seen through the expansion of their existing māra kai.