Topic: Health

REKA hopes to improve food standards for Māori whānau

By Mere McLean

Built at the back of Rangataua Marae, this garden has been feeding the families of Ngāti Rangataua for a number of years and it's something that chairperson of REKA Trust, Mate Heitia wants to expand on.

REKA Charitable Trust has been granted almost $200,000 in funding from the Health Research Council of NZ to improve food standards for Māori.

For the last six years, the REKA Trust has been implementing growing programmes on local marae in the Bay of Plenty, like this one here at Te Whare o Toroa. This helps with the food security and sovereignty plan they are working on.

Ms Heitia says, "Our wellness for us is, has been written for us for 1000 years through our whakapapa, through Papatūānuku and Ranginui we can get our wellness back."

According to the United Nations, a shortage of food is predicted in 2030. REKA hopes that through their research, they will revive the traditional teachings that Māori once used for growing food.

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