Poutoko: Impact Project Update - Waikato Kai Challenge

As reported previously, we held a kai workshop with 28 stakeholders with an interest in the Waikato food system early this year. We were interested in how the Waikato kai system works and what needs to change to meet our goals.

Attendees at the workshop were asked to envision what success would look like for the Waikato Kai Challenge. Comments included:

·       Food charities out of business as they are no longer needed

·       People growing their own food

·       Greater kai knowledge amongst tamariki and rangatahi

·       Building empathy for those who experience food insecurity

·       Indigenous food sovereignty

·       Localised food systems from the seed to the plate

When asked what is moving us forward and holding us back, participants noted:

·       A need for greater community empowerment

·       Less bureaucracy and “telling”- more horizontal democracy

·       Seeking out and supporting examples of success out there, and finding ways to share

·       The kids- they should demand the change

·       Changing the voice of demand - what are our communities asking for - for themselves, their leaders and institutions

·       Sharing examples that can inspire others

·       Consumerism, capitalism individualism- need to promote community connection

·       Urban Planning - allocating more land for food production

·       Mindset and attitudes-accepting we are all in this together

·       Working within planetary boundaries

·       More effective collaboration and time for high level strategy and planning

·       Land management must be whanau and hapu level

·       Ask the big questions - who profits from food? -  have a conversation with them

·       Sharing lived experiences - from big business to small and individuals

·       Work with the willing

Finally, participants were asked to identify the things the WWP can help us do together which we cannot do along, including:

·       Convene decision makers, business etc to develop a plan

·       Prioritise goals with a focus on what we can do right now

·       Identify who needs to be in the room 

This event was followed with another held in Ngaruawahia, co-hosted by Community Waikato and Waikato District Council. While the participants at the second workshop were more locally based and focused in the Ngaruawahia-Huntly |Rahui Pookeka-Taupiri areas, the messages were similar as is seen in the summary board below. We are working with Community Waikato and the Waikato District Council on how we can work jointly to align and integrate these various initiatives. We have also been in discussion with some of the key food support organisations in Hamilton about gaining better access to data on the emergency food system, so we can understand the scale of the challenge.

With our Manu Taki, Amber is now reviewing the korero and wisdom received so far, both across the Waikato and Aotearoa, and is framing up the next steps in the Waikato Kai Challenge. If you would like to be involved, please contact Amber at: