2024 Kai Ora Fund projects announced

This year the Kai Ora Fund received an unprecedented 62 applications from projects seeking funding, and over $135,000 in funding was shared between 30 projects.

‘Applications were up 51% this year compared to 2023, and applications that best demonstrated how they would contribute to the one or more of the funds vision statements were chosen. Kai Ora Fund partners want to see that applications have considered how their project will increase the availability of local kai and by doing so enhance the overall wellbeing and resilience of the community.’ Said Kai Ora Fund Partner Erana Peita.

This year the fund is proud to support 5 whenua Māori and Marae projects including 2 in the far North, 1 in Kaipara and 2 in Whangārei. 15 community kai and food forest projects, 5 education and capacity building projects, and 3 Business and Social Enterprise projects also received funding.

‘Supporting Marae food sovereignty not only enhances food security and health outcomes for our whānau, but it also contributes to cultural preservation, community empowerment, and environmental stewardship which build more resilient and sustainable Māori communities.’ Said Erana.

One of the projects receiving funding this year is to develop a healing garden for Rongopai House, a safe house that for whānau who are escaping violence, addiction, or sexual abuse. Rongopai House Community Trust provides free support services and life skills programs that provide learning opportunities for those going through challenges in their lives. Their healing garden is a ground-to-table initiative involving the ongoing development and maintenance of a landscaped garden, educational workshops and cooking classes.

Erana said ‘The Kai Ora Fund partners were truly inspired by the Kaupapa described in Rongopai House’s application and believe that initiatives that teach gardening, cooking and sustainable practices not only nourish bodies but cultivate knowledge, resilience and fostering a deeper connection with our food sources which benefits the community in a meaningful way.’

A full list of projects that received Kai Ora Fund grants this year can be found here and one the funds website. Partner-led workshops for the project teams are now underway.

The Kai Ora Fund partner organisations include Mahitahi Hauora, Te Puni Kōkiri, Far North District Council, Whangārei District Council, Kaipara District Council, the Ministry of Social Development, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Te Tari Taiwhenua (Department of Internal Affairs) and this year Healthy Families Far North joined as the 9th partner organisation.