P2P growers hui: Te Riingi Marae, Tautoro
July 2, 2021
We met at Te Riingi Marae and wish to acknowledge and thank Mitai and his whānau for their generous hospitality. Outcomes:
Updates. Covid and climate events were two factors which had greatly impacted on progress. The group were keen on more cross-community interaction. Events were seen as a way to garner stronger community buy in.
Structures. We explored possible structures for P2P. An options paper was circulated outlining our kaupapa, including the recent establishment of E Māra E Trust Ltd as an umbrella charitable trust. P2P could start to operate like a co-operative (without formal structures being put in place) for a year to see how this manifested itself.
Planning. All agreed that we needed to look at planning for the forthcoming summer season. A crop schedule was circulated. The hui agreed that we would all use this and keep it updated so that we know what we will be marketing in advance to build our marketing campaigns and understand our supply chains better. It would also enable us to identify crops to be used for processing. Establishing orchards around marae could also be explore.
Wānanga. Growers discussed establishing Spring wānanga to share knowledge, stories, connections and seeds.
Value add. The hui agreed that we ought to add value to produce from the māra. Ideas such as providing a Māori twist to products such as pesto or sauerkraut were discussed. All were in favour of processing kai. Compliance regulations (labelling etc).
Markets. Growers were keen to attend more farmer’s markets. Identity would be key – e.g. foods from different marae. Mitai suggested Thursday markets in Kaikohe. Mitai also raised the concept of marae markets - it was felt that these would be a great way to help reinvigorate marae, bring whanau home. Reconnection was identified as a success factor.
Labour. Concerns were raised about harvesting, and labour shortages. The hui confirmed that communities ought to cooperate more to aggregate labour. A community/grower support network was starting to evolve to address this. School engagement was also viewed to strengthen P2P in marae communities.Seed banking. The importance of maintaining a seed bank was supported by everyone at the hui. Sharing seeds was seen as a way to maintain marae communities food security and also to have healthy food stocks.
Funding. The MSD Food Secure Communities (FSC) Implementation Fund was tabled. MSD had approached us about putting in a joint application under the P2P banner. We could apply for up to $50,000. The hui felt that we should look at this and see how we can work to get funding on the processed kai side. Applications close on 25 July. It was agreed that P2P would coordinate an application for the group.
Web site. Hirini explained our evolving web page. With proper integration it could have a document bank, resource page, as well as a means share ideas.