ABOUT PĀ TO PLATE
Te toto o te tangata he kai; te oranga o te tangata, he whenua
The blood of people comes from food; the sustenance of people comes from the land
E kore e taea te oranga mō te tangata i te aroha me te pipi anake
We can no longer live on love and pipi
Pā to Plate’ is centred in Tai Tokerau/Northland. It focuses on growing produce and resources in lands or ‘pā/marae landscapes’ – inclusive of Māori lands, neighbouring farms. Pā to Plate responds to an outmoded, linear agribusiness focus of production and intensification. We are interested in the meaningful growth of food that strengthens connectedness between home lands and people.
Connect Tai Tokerau growers, farmers with each other.
Reconnect descendants with their land through food.
Re-establish Māori food-based economy around marae, papakāinga and whenua.
Develop a kin-market system based on sourcing, traceability and narratives.
Explore novel enterprise opportunities in customary resources (i.e. tuna, harakeke, fernroot).
Historically, pā, papaKāinga and marae were strategically placed to capture the energy (carbohydrates and protein) of soils and waterways. Marae were the centres of energy redistribution amongst or hapū.
Up until the late 1950s, Tai Tokerau marae-community elders recall that large communal gardens and farms were operating. Produce from the māra kai (gardens) and māhinga kai (ancestral hunting/fishing/foraging sites) Would likely be distributed amongst the members, supplemented by produce from markets or shops from nearby towns such as Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Waitangi, Moerewa and Kawakawa. Collectively, these food sources are the foodscape of the marae-communities within the Bay of Islands-Kaikohe area of central Tai Tokerau.
In time, markets and shops have overtaken customary food sources, followed by national and international supermarket chains. A vast majority of remaining productive Māori lands have entered into ‘traditional’ land use economies of sheep, beef and dairy farming, with some being utilised for forestry, native bush/scrub or gorse.
Over the past 30 years, Māori agribusinesses have become significant players in the New Zealand economy. Despite this success, papakāinga descendants cannot freely enjoy or even source produce derived from their own ancestral lands. Many Māori land organisations follow a standard business model, where, whether it is meat, milk or fibre, all is sold for revenue.
To encourage and develop regenerative whenua use (soils + water + air) by tangata (hapū descendants) within local marae of Tai Tokerau and beyond.
To mentor, network and support the development of Māori growers and Māori entrepreneurs’ in their whenua-based businesses throughout Te Tai Tokerau and beyond.
OUR PĀ KĀINGA
To facilitate, support and grow Māori micro- economies and enterprises, connecting growers, distributors, resources and descendants (at home and in cities) with their whenua.