Northlanders reap benefits of inspirational Kai Ora Fund

Published: Mon 16 Sep 2019 03:43 PM
Northland communities are reaping the rewards of the Kai Ora Fund – an initiative that supports projects that enable people to grow and eat nutritious and sustainably-grown local food in Northland.
The Kai Ora Fund is a flourishing partnership between Te Tai Tokerau Primary Health Organisation, Manaia Health PHO (now collectively Mahitahi Hauora), the Far North District Council, Whangārei District Council, Kaipara District Council, Te Puni Kōkiri, Northland District Health Board, and Northland Inc, the regional economic development agency.
The partnership supports projects that increase access for Northland communities to an affordable, safe food supply for current and future generations. By empowering communities to take action to work towards greater food security, the fund is also enabling people to improve and increase control over their health.
“The beauty of the Kai Ora Fund is we are able to support food projects that communities are passionate about, and to provide extra support through the partners and the broad network of Kai Ora projects,” said Daniela Johnson, Wellbeing Health Promotion Coordinator at Mahitahi Hauora. “It is all about resourcing passionate community people, linking up and working together to support great things in Northland.”
Since its inception in 2015, 92 projects have been supported through the fund. This year 37 new projects have been funded, with 33 projects led by Māori communities and whānau, resulting in an investment of just under $80,000 this year in hapori Māori.
The Kai Ora Fund identifies and embraces seven key priorities: a focus on projects that increase the availability of healthy food; the growth of economic prosperity in Northland; resilience in times of emergency or vulnerability; connecting people who are passionate about sustainable local food; having a community-led approach; the ability to try new ideas; and the improvement and wellbeing of groups and communities that are most vulnerable.
Tui Marsh, Regional Manager Te Puni Kōkiri, was delighted by the quality and progress of this year’s applications. “It’s so exciting to see the aspirations and energy in the community around growing food,” she said. “It is a privilege to work with groups who want to make a difference for their wider whānau and community. Many of these projects will have a lasting impact on whānau around Tai Tokerau.”
Joseph Stuart, General Manager, Business Innovation and Growth at Northland Inc, said: “The fund is rebuilding strength in local communities and encouraging as many people as possible to contribute to and to benefit from growth. It also supports those in our communities who face higher barriers to growth to create their own solutions.”
“Through the Kai Ora Fund we have identified and supported many leaders in our local communities who are passionate about food, sustainability and health. This is the most exciting thing about the project; by identifying, connecting and supporting those leaders, we are creating something precious – something that has so much potential for future growth and synergy, and will allow great things to happen.”
The Kai Ora group is planning next year’s funding round. People and groups interested in applying or working with the group are encouraged to get in touch.
For more information about Kai Ora Fund visit:

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