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Kai Sovereignty

Envisioning Kai Sovereignty in Te Tai Tokerau 2040


There are still people alive who have memories of the extensive whānau and kainga mara of the middle decades of the 20th Century. These kaumatua recall that people were healthy and nobody went hungry. The confluence of the urban drift, the arrival of supermarkets, increased imports of food and the expansion of industrial agriculture saw these gardens diminish over the decades.

This document explores some of the greenshoots of the emergence of a regenerative food systems that can deliver improved nutrition, environmental outcomes and renew options for economic wellbeing.

Envisioning what kai sovereignty might look like in 2040, leads to the inevitable conclusion that the food system has to have deliberately designed pathways and policies to achieve desirable outcomes.


These pathways are:

  • Continued repatriation of the whenua.

  • Owning more of the value chain from production to the distribution of kai.

  • Replacing industrial fishing with whānau and hāpu owned fishing and aquaculture.

  • A high tech/low tech future with whānau able to support revitalisation of kainga through participation in the weightless economy.

  • Pātaka kai as a short term measure to alleviate food poverty.

  • Aligning kai and hauora aspirations.

  • Helping to shape Aotearoa’s food policy.

A draft document is currently underway, and we anticipant that a final version will be made available by the end of June 2023. Watch this space!

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