The Kai ika project ramps up

April 23, 2020

Over the last four years 60,000kg of fish parts have been collected and shared with South Auckland Families via our project partner Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae. This was during relatively prosperous times.

Then, COVID-19 hit. Overnight, The Kai Ika Project became an ‘Essential Service’. The country was locked down, the numbers of unemployed skyrocketed and being able to access good quality food became an increasing challenge for many South and West Auckland families.

However, the ban on recreational fishing and non-essential services extended to fish retailers. Our supply of kaimoana disappeared overnight.

Then, in true Kiwi style, the community banded together. A number of organisations stepped up to help. This was led by the iwi owned commercial fishing company, Moana New Zealand who immediately committed to providing large quantities of fish heads. Whakamihi guys.


It quickly became apparent the shipping container donated by Royal Wolf (complete with refrigeration and filleting benches) was not sufficient to store and process the increased numbers of fish heads coming from Moana New Zealand. We also needed:

1. A 2500 litre underground tank to collect increased runoff. This water would then be pumped over 100 meters to the top of the marae where it will then be trickle fed back into the mara (gardens) to water the vegetables.

2. An upgraded electrical circuit to the Royal Wolf container so a refrigerated container could also be installed.

Three weeks ago this work was outside of our budget. Incredibly Campbell Plumbing and KR Electrical completed the work and didn’t charge anything for any labour costs! If anyone needs a plumber or electrician these guys need to be your first call.

Moana New Zealand, Campbell Plumbing and KR Electrical join the growing number of project partners who are our lifeblood.

Thank you to Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation, Foundation North and Guardians of the Sea. Your financial support has given us the confidence to push ahead.

Finally, none of this would have happened without the support of the Outboard Boating Club, Westhaven Marina, Scott Seafood, Special Group and of course Royal Wolf. While many of you are out of action for the moment your support over the past three years has been vital.

If you would like to support the mahi Kai ika project and Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae are doing, please visit this Givealittle page.