māra kai

He Whakatauaki;

Ko te Kai too Ronga; Ko te Ronga to Kai; Let your food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.

Te Waka Kai Ora encourage and support Whanau to grow their own healthy kai and medicines. Growing kai and medicines is a way of practising Kaitiakitanga on your whenua as well as a way of taking care of whänau by eating Healthy Kai free of pesticides, toxins and genetic modification – which al contributes to Whanau Ora.  Maara Kai also supports whänau to become more resilient and self reliant which could lead to economic benefits for your whänau.

Te Waka Kai Ora supports the indigenous systems of food production which our ancestors have been practising for centuries. As Kaitiaki on our Whenua we are guided by Tikanga Maori to ensure our practise of Maara Kai are working the values of our ancestors. Te Waka Kai Ora supports Whanau, to grow food and medicine gardens at their Marae, Kura, and Whenua.  We are dedicated to supporting you to grow healthy food gardens that promote Wellness for your Whanau.  Te Waka Kai and the Maara Kai project promote the philosophy of Hua Parakore which is a growing system that ensures the Kai grown is of the highest purity accordin fgto our tikanga.

“Indigenous systems of food production are now being recognised internationally for their sustainability. Hua Parakore is our response to this emerging market for culturally and environmentally responsible food and medicine. “ Percy Tipene TWKO Chairman

Te Waka Kai Ora is willing to support you with your Maara through:

  • Education
  • Coaching
  • Networking

The Maara Kai activities we provide are:

Korero Atu:

  • Specialist knowledge about Maara Kai
  • Supporting Whanau to grow Kai
  • Kaupapa of Te Waka Kai Ora
  • Philosophy of Huaparakore (pure product)
  • Potential economic benefits
  • Linkages to Maori growing networks in Aotearoa


  • Supporting Whanau to fully utilise their Whenua
  • Step by step support to setting up a Maara
  • Choosing the right location
  • Soil Testing your land
  • Composting
  • GE free seeds
  • Seed Saving and sharing
  • Natural fertilisers
  • Starting your own Seed Bank


  • Maramataka –Maori growing calendar
  • Tikanga Maori o te Maara
  • Tikanga Maori o Huaparakore
  • Kaitiakitanga o te Maara
  • Huaparakore What constitutes a pure product


  • Access to Maori growers network in Aotearoa
  • Access to global traditional growers networks
  • Annual Wananga with Te Waka Kai Ora

Puritia Ngā Tikanga a o tātou matua tūpuna

Holding fast the traditions of our ancestors

All services are free to those willing to participate.


3 Responses to māra kai

  1. Alvin Ponga and Erana Ashwell says:

    I have recently started a Organics growing course through Agriculture nz, one night a week at The Quakers settlement here in Whanganui. I would like to keep in touch for my course so i look forward to hearing from you soon.
    We are interested in any publication or panui that are distributed through this organisation.

    Thank you

  2. Patrick Kuka says:

    Really into learning this concept more as it feels right in so many ways, love the philosophy , love your work and so beneficial for my small family, and as a learning experience.

    • tewakakaiora says:

      Tena Koe Patrick,

      He mihi nui ki tou whanau me tou whakaaro Rangatira.
      This kaupapa is for all of us to live in abundance and too enjoy the fruits of taking care of a healthy land which in return provides us with delicious nutritious food. Perfect for our families to pass on the learning to our tamariki so they learn and have a deepen relationship with the natural world as our ancestors did. We cant turn back the clock but we can preserve the goodness that has been left to us too pick up and live by.
      Keep in touch and thanks for posted some positive comments. We love that.

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