Toi Ako ki Ngapeke

Earlier this year, we supported an event with Ngāpeke Permaculture in Welcome Bay, Tauranga, focused on kai, moving and playing in te reo Māori with Tutarawānanga Kōhanga Reo. Ngāpeke Permaculture is primarily led by wāhine Māori who are determined to restore their whenua using regenerative methods of gardening and practices that work with the whenua.

We arrived and were introduced to “Aunty Rina”, her team, and volunteers. The team are welcoming and generous with their time and mātauranga. If you want to know anything about the māra, they are the passionate people you want to talk to. Instead of being another kiwifruit orchard, they want to carry out mahi that rejuvenates and replenishes their whenua. 

The team offers public workshops that attract an array of volunteers from many backgrounds committed to the vision of oranga taiao. The Ngapeke team is very clear that regenerative gardening practices aren’t ‘new’ to their lands, even though they are restoring their land from the severe impacts of monocropping. Our ancestors had systems in place that cared for the whenua and their wider relations. It is powerful to see in action.

Throughout the day, we sourced and foraged for kai and fed the kararehe on-site. The simplicity of knowing where things come from (not just the supermarket shelves) is really impactful. We left inspired by the day, seeking to replicate the same methods in our own backyard at kōhanga, with our whānau, marae, and hapori.