Healthy and Economical School Lunches at the KaiFest

by Walter Tia, Pūkenga Mānaki (Whānau Navigator)

Walter Tia with Sonia Hepi-Treanor

Walter Tia with Sonia Hepi-Treanor

Master chef Brenda McQuillan showing children how to make tortilla wraps

Master chef Brenda McQuillan showing children how to make tortilla wraps

Jaine Cronin with Hayley Veatupu

Jaine Cronin with Hayley Veatupu

On Wednesday 6th of February 2019, several kaimahi from the Whakatū Whare, Te Piki Oranga, prepared to once again support the now annual Nelson Community Event Waitangi Day International KaiFest. This co-hosted event by Founders Heritage Park and Whakatū Marae is now in its 11th year.

The day started a little nervously for the organizers, due to a Bush Fire having started and still raging in the Pigeon Valley area the previous afternoon, as well as the weather being quite grey and fickle. Event-goers/supporters trickled through the gates when the event officially opened. The gusts of wind came periodically during the day and blew the stalls around. We were fortunate to have the help of  Karen and her husband to peg and tie-down the rear of our gazebo, to restore everything into its proper order. The volume of the crowd increased into a more substantial and consistant flow, as the event wore on. 

Elly Van der Zwaag dressed up as the Tooth Fairy

Elly Van der Zwaag dressed up as the Tooth Fairy


Our Health message for this event was... “Healthy and Economical School Lunches”. We’ve set up a table at interactive Demonstration Station with all the requirements, to allow children to ‘make their own’, ham/egg filled Tortilla Wraps.  A small info sheet was also provided for parents/caregivers, informing them the overall cost of having such lunches for their tamariki/whānau.  Kaimahi were present to facilitate and answer any queries.

 Elly van der Zwaag our Oral Health Educator, promoted her services to the community, by dressing up as the Tooth Fairy, giving out info hand-outs and chilled bottled water.

Our Demonstration Station, was reasonably patronised by our target market throughout the event. Our Tooth Fairy had a blast interacting with a lot of families, especially the tamariki in promoting our Oral Health services in the area. 

The kaimahi, who had worked the day, all had a fantastic time in performing their first aid roles and promoting our services to the event-goers.  It was especially great for the kaimahi  to converse and interact with a lot of the whanau that they had worked with previously and currently working with that attended this event. Thankfully, there were no serious incidents, that required our first aid assistance.  

All in all, our presence and participation in supporting this annual event was wonderful success! Several stall holders were also successful having sold out signs, well before the closure time of the event.   

My personal gratitude to all those kaimahi, who sacrificed their whanau-time to be an active participant in supporting this annual event, held on Waitangi Day.  Especially those amazing administrators, who aided in the processing of purchase orders for the station equipment etc...  You guys are absolutely amazing!   

A special thank you to Karen Davidson our Pūkenga Kaiwhakahaere at Whakatū, who had enough trust in my own abilities, to allow me to volunteer, to be the lead kaimahi, for this project. 

Ngā mihi nui kia koutou

Walter Tia