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We have big plans for kai here at Te Puna Ora o Mataatua.

It's important that everyone has access to good quality kai, and knows how to nourish their whānau with fresh, healthy food.

Applying for a Kai Pack:

If you need to apply for food assistance or are in need of emergency food supply, call us on 0800 MATAATUA to have a korero about your kai support needs.

Kai support is a one-off service to help people who are struggling to pay for food or other necessities.

We have wrap around integrated support available from our other services to help you plan for the long term.

We have limited packs every week and will prioritise these based on individual circumstances. You will be asked to grab the bag from our premises yourself. If you are unable to do this, feel free to reach out to us.

Under the COVID-19 restictions we do not offer walk-ins. This is a one-off service.

We are open 8:30am-4:30pm, 4 days a week.

Our delivery days are Wednesday.

What we need to know:

To assess how we can help you and prioritise our support, it's really helpful to know:

• The number of people living in your house.
• What you're having trouble with/how your income limits you.
• If you've got any specific health needs or food items to avoid.
• If you’ve been made redundant or impacted by COVID-19.

You need to have a reliable phone number on which we can reach you. Otherwise, feel free to come in and arrange a time to talk with our kai coordinator. Once we understand your needs, we will assemble a kai pack that meets them for you and your whānau.

Our plans in the pipeline:

Healthy food being packed in a warehouse

Developing a strategy to ensure food sovereignty in the Eastern Bay will become a key focus for Te Puna Ora o Mataatua over the next three years.

Food sovereignty has always been an important issue but it became especially relevant because of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Food Secure Communities Grant:

We have just started a two-year contract working on food secure communities. We have received some funding from the Ministry of Social Development to support communities working together and develop and implement a plan that creates long-term, sustainable food security. This means identifying all those organisations providing kai to the community and coming up with a plan to ensure that this is done in the most efficient and effective way, with sustainable strategies in place.

For example, Whakatāne is well serviced when it comes to kai, but there are gaps in outlying areas such as Edgecumbe or Matata, or places like Murupara or Ruatoki. The Eastern Bay is a largely rural region and there are still households missing out, there are still marae that are missing out. This work will help to address some of that imbalance. We’ve got to identify the gaps so we know where the holes are and where the opportunities may be.

From there we can create a plan to figure out how everyone can work together better and get better results out of the resources that are being applied to support our whānau.

At the end of the two-year contract period, Te Puna Ora o Mataatua will have a clear plan on what to do next and this approach will enable better food sovereignty in the Eastern Bay. We will have a business plan by then and then we can start looking at the local leadership and how we enable long-term kai sovereignty

About food sovereignty:

The first Forum on Food Sovereignty in 2007 was monumental in defining the movement and tenets. It defined food sovereignty as people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their rights to define their own food and agriculture systems.

Additionally, six pillars of food sovereignty were also identified. These consist of:

  • Food must be appropriate for the population and not simply a commodity
  • Food providers deserve to be valued, sustained and treated with dignity
    Food systems should be localised and bring consumers and producers together
  • Local control and cooperation over land and water resources are imperative
  • Generational knowledge and skills are at the core of strengthening food sovereignty
  • Food systems must be environmentally and ecologically regenerative

Better, and more long-term, results will be achieved by putting food sovereignty at the centre of the conversation.

We need to get away from short term solutions like kai banks and find long-term and sustainable solutions. This comes down to developing our own maara kai (food growing gardens) and using our local resources in a better way.

Moving Forward with Food Assistance

Historically, we have always been really good at growing food in the Eastern Bay. And we have a few maara kai but we need to have conversations about identifying land that can be used to support the growing of kai, using those resources to first support our own people and only then should we look at the opportunities to sell food outside of our area to generating commercial returns. This will help us achieve kai sovereignty and provide a way for our Eastern Bay whānau to not only survive but to thrive.

We are looking forward to working with people, organisations and other groups across the Mataatua rohe in this area so that we can achieve long-term and sustainable results for our whānau.

Our related services:

Whānau Ora

Healthy Lifestyles



Health Promotion


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