Kai packs help provide some relief for whānau of Otakanini Haranui Marae

With the Covid delta strain now on our door steps, the imposition of alert level restrictions, and the uncertainty of the future, food insecurity can present another layer of challenges and pressure to whānau. While some whānau may be unable to get to the local supermarket with all their tamariki at home, others are struggling to pay the bills and some can’t get back to work until level 2. 

Heeding the call, the whānau of Otakanini Haranui Marae have rallied together to get funding in order to offer manaaki and support to their whānau and community. Through a number of zoom hui and group chat conversations, the marae team was able to put plans in place over the last few weeks to pull together kai packs.

With the support of Te Hā Oranga in the form of their work van, kaimahi of Otakanini Haranui Marae have been able to travel across Auckland to pick up bulk food from various suppliers, and bring it back to the marae where the team then spends every Friday afternoon preparing kai packs ready for a contactless pick up from the marae on a Saturday morning. 

Following all the rules that apply to keep both whanau and kaimahi safe, they have had someone stationed at the entrance to the marae with their covid tracer QR code for check in on entry. With only three cars permitted at a time to drive in, the kaimahi will place the kai packs into their boot (contactless) before whānau are able to drive away and the next three cars can enter.  By following the rules, everyone is kept safe.

“Although we’re providing packs for up to 100 whānau in and around our marae, our priority first and foremost has been to our kaumatua who have had their packs delivered straight to their door – contactless of course,” says Matire Seath, Toi Tangata Kaiwhakahaere Tari, Pūtea

Finance and Business Manager. “We have over 35 kaumatua in and around the area of the marae who are being catered to.”  

Otakanini Haranui Marae has received financial support from Te Kotahi a Tāmaki (Marae Collective), Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua and Auckland Council.  Koha has also come from Te Ha Oranga, Parakai Four Square, Countdown Helensville, Paper Plus Helensville, Te Aroha Pā Marae, Te Kia Ora Marae and Whiti Te Rā (Rewiti Marae).

“It may not be solving the challenges that many of our whānau are facing during these hard times, but it sure helps alleviate some pressure when all you’re trying to do is put kai on your table,” says Matire. 

The marae is also offering a vaccination programme where whānau can come in for their first dose even if they don’t have a booking.  Those in need of their second dose can come in on Saturday 9 October at Otakanini Haranui Marae, 64 Haranui Rd, Parakai, Helensville.

Remember, “be kind” e te whānau!