Healthy Kai, Healthy Communities

Cultural and Environmental Sustainability Maori Organics Conference in New Zealand New Zealand – A three-day hui (gathering) was held in Ahipara, in northern New Zealand this June to bring together producers, cooks, educators and students around the topic of organic food production in Maori communities. Representatives from the Terra Madre network were involved in the organization of the event which presented a varied program: discussion of the Maori standard for farming and gardening Hua Parakore; celebration of the young farmers who participated in the Manawhenua Challenge; and the opportunity to enjoy pure traditional kai (food) and learn new recipes from long-time Slow Food members Alessandra Zecchini and Mariapia de Razza. The common motivation of all those who traveled from around the country to participate – of all ages and backgrounds – was a ‘passion for healthy food’, said Terra Madre 2006 delegate Percy Tipene, also chairman of the Maori organic authority Te Waka Kai Ora. ‘Indigenous food systems are now being recognized internationally for their sustainability. Hua Parakore standard for Maori organics is our response to this growing market for culturally and environmentally responsible foods and medicines.’ Terra Madre 2008 delegate Rueben Taipari-Porter commented that the conference brought together many inspiring people, and provided an opportunity to network, share knowledge and learn new skills. ‘I hope the many cooks and caterers who attended will take with them some new found knowledge about healthy food to our people, and especially to our children.’

For more information:
Rueben Taipari-Porter

from Slow Food – Terra Madre newsletter, July-August 09