Kai Western Bay: helping out the locals

David King and Gill Ellis amongst their herb and tomato garden. Photo: Maddison Brown.

Kai Western Bay, which has a vision of ‘Good food for all in the Western Bay’, has just begun forming its strategic plan and set of actions with an aim to educate BOP residents and increase network capacity of existing local food initiatives.

Kai Western Bay Small Scale Growers representative Gill Ellis says the BOP currently doesn’t have good food security – and lack of local produce is a problem.

“Some of the things we want to see are healthy food which is accessible for everyone, ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate food for the Bay.

“We want to support local grassroots food movements, improve food resilience in case of natural disasters – how would people eat etc – and we want to encourage home gardening, community gardens and education around healthy eating and food growing.”

The organisation is working alongside local government bodies to help improve conditions for local produce farmers; and the availability of local food for residents, by way of community gardens, and education on how to grow their own food.

Kai Western Bay is partnering with organisations such as Good Neighbour Trust and also food rescue which focusses on food redistribution to people in need.

Gill says the aim is to create a network so all organisations can work together toward a better future for local food.

“Things exist already, there are some great initiatives all over the place, but we would like to have everyone be able to share in those, so it’s a collective network to help enhance the opportunity for all of these initiatives,” says Gill.

Land development, sprawling urban development and loss of affordable farmland for farmers to grow produce is also contributing to lack of available food, says Gill.

Kai Western Bay is currently researching what the barriers are, the status of local growers and how viable local food production is.

To find out more or to get involved, email hayley.adamson@bopdhb.govt.nz


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