Topics: Business, Education

Kai Rotorua making kūmara accessible in the community

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

A Rotorua gardening group is helping to make the kūmara accessible in their community.

Today, Kai Rotorua has planted over 100 kūmara, which will eventually be donated to volunteers, marae and community groups.

In May the price for kūmara rose to $9 a kilo.

Kai Rotorua are on a mission to make kūmara affordable for whānau in Rotorua. 

Te Rangikaheke Kitipatea of Kai Rotorua says, “It helps enormously in the long-term.  If we look at the long term it can only help our family.” 

Te Puea Orchard, near Rotorua, has given land to plant kūmara.

“Kūmara is in our whakapapa, why wouldn't you want to be looking at things like this?” says Kiripatea.

It hasn't been a good season for kūmara, wet weather and a labour shortage have been blamed for the spike in retail kūmara prices this year.

But today the wider community of Rotorua have gathered to learn how to grow their own.

Tuahana Clark, who has come from Hamilton, says, “I'm very happy that the children are here, they are our future.  If they hold on to the teachings here it's only to benefit them.  Good!”

The kūmara will be harvested between April and May next year and will be distributed to marae and community groups.