In New Zeland North Hokianga Food Co-op is aiming for food security
Hokianga-Nui-A-Kupe – The Place of Kupe’s Great Return
The giant Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest act as the southern sentinels for both the Far North district and the historic Hokianga Harbour - the undisputed jewel of Northland’s west coast.
Known also as Te Kohanga o Te Tai Tokerau (the nest of the northern tribes), it is the central point from which most Northland Maori trace their ancestry. Hokianga is home to a number of historic missionary settlements dating back as far as 1827. Settlement is predominantly closely associated with the harbour and its adjoining coastal valleys.
In the south, well maintained tracks give access to Waipoua forest giants like 1400-year-old Tane Mahuta and 2000-year-old Te Matua Ngahere.
About the Co-op
North Hokianga residents are on the path to making their food pantries and larders entirely self-sufficient.
The North Hokianga Co-op aims to get residents growing their own produce and wants to build a boutique abattoir to process local meat.
Co-op organiser Jackie Thompson says the area wants to make the most of their natural resources and change attitudes towards food and where it comes from.
The Co-op held a "Kai Rangatira" day on October 10 to introduce the community to gardening methods and information. More than100 people turned out to learn about grafting, worm farms, traditional Maori medicine, honey and housing projects.
"Food comes from the supermarket, from over the counter in a package. We're eating too much sugar and too much processed food. That is basically seen as normal.
"Food with less handling and produced by yourself is good for you and your wallet. Get outside, get some fresh air, grow some food and it'll be good for your physical self as well."
The Co-op is organising gardening working bees for early November.
The community want to set up an abattoir to process animals from the surrounding farms. Thompson says this will allow locals to buy fresh meat at a reasonable price and not have to travel to Kaitaia or Kaikohe supermarkets.