Regional Food System Strategy – Wānanga
In early November, diverse stakeholders from around the motu came together for a workshop to advance the Regional Food System Strategy project, contributing diverse perspectives to exercises and discussions to broaden the project team’s view of our kai systems into other interlinked systems.
Over two days on Thursday 2nd, and Friday 3rd November, an end-of-year wānanga was held as part of the ongoing mahi for the Regional Food System Strategy. This event provided an exciting opportunity to bring together stakeholders and partners who have been involved in the strategy this year, including mana whenua, community organizations, central and local government, academia, and growers/food producers from across the region.
The first day of this wānanga was held online. Ahikā presented the data they have collected so far as part of their food system and food economy report. This included an overview of our regional food system, highlighting the quantity of fresh food grown in the region compared to our consumption, supply chain and food distribution mapping, and qualitative data on the barriers and opportunities for local food distribution and economic development.
Day two took place at the Boys and Girls Institute in Wellington CBD and was co-facilitated by Taranaki Whanui and Kore Hiakai. The morning workshop focused on reviewing Ahikā’s data, discussing its implications for local initiatives, and collectively identifying opportunities for regional collaboration within the strategy. The second workshop, led by Taranaki Whanui, was dedicated to long-term sustainability planning. We explored what our region can do to develop resilient communities in the face of climate risks and global change.
An overarching theme that emerged from this wānanga was the pressing need for regional collaboration in developing a sustainable food system, and that that no single district can address the complex challenges of our regional food system alone.