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Northlanders step up to boost kai resilience across the region for 2022

A diverse range of innovative projects enhancing community connections, employment, education, sustainability, and economic development have again been supported through the Kai Ora Fund this 2022.

This year, a total of $140,902 has been disbursed to support 41 projects, with 22 in Far North, 4 in Kaipara and 13 in Whangārei.

The Kai Ora Fund is a modest community grants process to support grassroots projects that address food security and benefit the wider community. Set up in 2015, it has supported over 200 projects across Northland. Community groups, whānau trusts, social enterprises, and small businesses have the opportunity each year to apply for up to $5000 for projects that help strength kai networks.

“There is no better time than now to rally communities together to address kai needs. This year we saw the largest increase of new projects across the region, signalling the interest from communities to invest their time, energy, and resources into getting kai from the ground to the table,” said Whangārei District Council Community Development Adviser Laura Welsby.

A range of community garden projects across Te Tai Tokerau received funding this year. One such project in Whangārei, led by Forget Me Not, aims to develop a vegetable garden for their clients and wider community.

Another project in Whangārei, based at St Stephens Church, focuses on educating their community through workshops which integrate Māori values of manaakitanga and kaitiaki. Their aim is to encourage local food security and community connection through gardening, education, collaboration, and celebration.

In the Far North, Pateoro Marae are working on a project called Te Houkura. Te Houkura aims to establish marae-based maara kai and rongoa to encourage self-sufficiency and share traditional knowledge around planting, cultivation, harvesting and seed collection.

Successful applicants attended a Kai Ora workshop in Whangārei and Kaikohe to allow the project teams to collaborate and share expert advice and project knowledge for greater outcomes. Groups shared their vision for their projects, considered key factors to boosting kai resilience, and looked at synergies between their projects.

Kai Ora Fund Whangārei Workshop 2022.

The Kai Ora partnership comprises Mahitahi Hauora, Northland District Health Board, Te Puni Kōkiri, Far North District Council, Whangārei District Council, Kaipara District Council, the Ministry of Social Development and Healthy Families Far North, who have banded together as a unique way to achieve the fund’s vision – ‘He whenua taurikura, he whānau houkura - Abundant whenua, prosperous whānau’.

These partners, through their combined resources, support communities to undertake their projects by offering capacity building workshops, networking opportunities and general project support.

“We have a wide range of partners on board, each bringing their own unique lenses and expertise which groups can access for diverse support,” said Mahitahi Hauora Whanau Engagement and Innovation Partner, Erana Peita.

Learn more about the Kai Ora Fund Here.

Kai Ora Fund Kaikohe Workshop 2022.

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