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Naumai leads marae kai plan
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The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a marae-based project to help Kaipara residents grow their own food.

Māuri Orā ki Ngāti Whatua Charitable Trust will hold four wānanga starting with Naumai Marae in Ruawai tomorrow.

It will focus on food sovereignty and what can be grown on marae or in local backyards.

A pilot garden will also be planted at Naumai Marae, with herbs, and vegetables such as lettuce, silverbeet, onions and carrots.

Hui are also planned for Ripia Marae, south of Te Kōpuru, and Parirau Marae, northwest of Matakohe.

Trust administrator Hazel Hornell says growing kai brings communities together and builds and strengthens social connections.

“My friends with vegetable gardens share their surplus produce with friends, family, and elderly residents unable to grow their own food,” she says.

Nick Story, MPI’s director of rural communities and farming support, says the $20,000 funding for the hui comes from the ministry’s rural community hubs programme.

“The aim of this project is to help build resilience in Kaipara’s rural communities, equipping them with the skills to be more self-sufficient,” he says.

“During last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, local iwi helped bring fresh food into the district for disadvantaged and isolated residents.”

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