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The kaumātua and kaiāwhina of Te Whāriki Manawāhine o Hauraki’s new Pātaka Kai food rescue at its launch on June 24. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

‘Give what you can, take what you need’

Te Whāriki Manawāhine o Hauraki (Hauraki Women’s Refuge) has officially opened a food rescue for whānau in Paeroa. KELLEY TANTAU was invited to its launch.

Pātaka Kai, Hauraki’s newest food outlet, has a dual purpose: to support whānau in deciding how they get from one shopping week to the next, and to prevent processed foods from going into landfills.
“Better the food goes to feeding our whānau rather than polluting Papatūānuku,” Te Whāriki chairperson Josie Anderson said.
“As such, whānau who use Pātaka Kai are also exercising their kaitiakitanga to care for and protect Papatūānuku. This way we all win.”
The establishment of Pātaka Kai had been a long time coming, and at its launch on June 24, Josie said food security for whānau had been “seriously lacking”.
“Last year, with Covid-19, it came to the fore, and it actually gave groups like ours a chance to not only know it, but to take actual steps forward to do something about it.
“When we were delivering food and supporting whānau, one thing we found when we sat back to reflect was that although this was about providing kai to our families, we saw that whānau were actually starting to participate in the decisions themselves.
“What that was saying to us was when our families have the resources, they are more than capable of making decisions for themselves,” she said.
The Pātaka Kai initiative is supported by Pak’nSave, Countdown, Waikato Environmental Trust, Kauaeranga Valley Co-operative, Iwi organisations, and caring community members.
“Feeding whānau is all about keeping alive the values and practices of our kaumatua to care for each other,” John Linstead, kaumātua Pātaka Kai, said.
“Our nannies and aunties would always feed whoever was at our home at kai time, no questions asked.
“This is continuing that legacy – our kai is your kai, give what you can and take what you need.”

Pātaka Kai
Pātaka Kai is located at 66 Belmont Rd, Paeroa. Bring your shopping bag when you need to. Opening times to donate to Pātaka Kai are: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 9.30am-3.30pm; Friday, 9.30am-2pm; and Saturday, 9.30am-12.30pm.
To contact Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki, free call 0800 868 3132.