Zero waste in marae by 2020

By Mānia Clarke
  • Auckland

The Para Kore initiative is encouraging marae to return to the agricultural customs of their elders, in a bid to reduce pollution.  To to further promote their cause, those involved in the initiative meet at Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae in South Auckland this weekend.

Both group have come together for the same cause. To working towards zero waste on the marae by using traditional gardening practises.

According to Waikato chaplain Pine Campbell, Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae is leading the way in agricultural initiatives, “Look at their organic gardens, Para Kore is about this, if people grow their own food, they don't have to buy from the supermarket, therefore it eliminates any packaging or plastic from marae.”

“We teach families how to recycle waste, how to separate the waste, like plastic bottles into the correct container, likewise with cans into the correct bin and food scraps” says Lionel Hotene the manager at Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae.

Since Para Kore began in 2009, the number of marae supporting their recycling and zero waste initiative have grown from three to 90.

“We now operate from Nelson to Motueka through to the Northland and East Coast of Ruatōria, across to the mountain of Tītohea in Taranaki” say a proud Mr Campbell.

The long term vision is to have all 800 marae around the country operating under "zero waste" by 2020, but there will be challenges.

“Recycling isn't hard to do, what is difficult is changing the people’s attitudes” says Mr Hotene.