CEESP Chair, Aroha Mead, attended the launch of the Maori indigenous organics brand, "Hua Parakore". The launch of the brand comes after many years of struggle to implement a vision for Maori to produce, consume and market traditional foods.
As with many indigenous initiatives, it required those involved to circumnavigate the complex web of industry standards and national and global laws in order to develop an indigenous response thta maintains the integrity of cultural traditions and values. The Maori Organics Society (Te Waka Kai Ora) was the network that developed and guided the brand.
Te Waka Kai Ora decribes their vision as "to ensure that the mauri (essence) of our native foods of our rich flora and fauna remain intact and that the integrity of our taonga is maintained for future generations.TWKO was established in 2001 as an incorporated society and has sought the following goals:
- Korero atu – promoting chemical-free production systems to Maori land owners
- Tautoko – supporting Maori farmers and growers
- Whakawhanaungatanga – building a strong network of Maori farmers and growers
- Wananga – traditional farming systems, organic production systems, sustainable resource development including energy and housing, climate change mitigation
- Matauranga – education to train our people in traditional agricultural tikanga and kawa and systems for indigenous Maori branding of our kai.
- Kaitiakitanga – Preservation and protection of traditional kai species and promotion of traditional diet for health of our people.
Hua Parakore, the Maori organics brand, is a way of growing Kai Atua or pure foods through healthy landscapes and pure seedlines producing kai (food) that is full of energy and wellness. Hua Parakore is awarded to producers whose production and tikanga (cultural practices) are GE, nano, pesticide, and chemical free, and who can assure product purity and integrity at all times. Enhancing the cultural, spiritual, social, economic and health outcomes for Maori is at the heart of Hua Parakore, and Te Waka Kai Ora is also working with Maori community groups and marae in developing mahinga kai (gardens) to encourage self-sufficiency and wellbeing. A number of CEESP TSL members are involved in this initiative.
Hua Parakore is for all whānau/hapū/iwi who aspire for the health and wellbeing of their people through vibrant mahinga kai:
- Ki te manaaki i te mauri o ngā taonga katoa - We seek to protect and enhance the life essence of our people, land and resource.
- Puritia Ngā Tikanga a o tatou matua tīpuna - We seek to uphold and maintain the values and practices of our ancestors.
- Tino rangatiratanga o ngā Hua Māori - We seek to uphold and maintain the production of Māori goods on Māori lands.
- Ngā kaitiaki me ngā Kai tautoko o tenei kaupapa – we seek to ensure the divine right of tāngata whenua to pure and healthy food.
- Kai Ātua, Kai Ora - we can produce Maori goods and services that are traceable with no exposure to any contaminants.
- Ohaoha – the use of the Hua Parakore korowai provides access to native trade and sustainable local and global markets with a Māori point of difference
For further information on both Te Waka Kai Ora (Maori Organics Society) and Hua Parakore (Maori Organics Brand) see: http://www.tewakakaiora.co.nz