Te Pāti Māori are launching our Kai Sovereignty Policy today, which will safeguard our ancestral food systems and empower Tangata Whenua to take control of their food production, distribution, and consumption. It will address issues of hunger, food inequality, and poverty, break up the supermarket duopoly, and support community and me gardens, as well as regenerative farming practices.

Our policy is founded on the belief that Māori have the freedom and responsibility to protect their heritage seeds, cultural knowledge, and tikanga associated with kai.

Our Kai Sovereignty Policy includes:

  1. Protection of Whakapapa: Te Pāti Māori emphasizes the importance of preserving indigenous plant species with the consent of whānau, hapū, and iwi. It rejects any research or commercialization that undermines the whakapapa of ecosystems.
  2. Establishment of Māori Kai Sovereignty Board: To ensure justice and sovereignty around kai, we would create an independent board with statutory powers to oversee and address issues of hunger, poverty, and inequality.
  3. Support for Community Kai: we will promote community-led food production and distribution by setting up a $15 million per annum Community Kai fund for home gardens, marae maara kai (community gardens), and Māori and community-led large-scale food farms. Collaboration with councils to allocate land for urban and rural food farms is also a priority.
  4. Investment in Regenerative and Organic Farming: we will invest an additional $100 million into the Mātai Ahuwhenua agricultural innovation fund, supporting small-scale and diversified pāmu/whenua blocks that prioritize regenerative and organic farming practices and local consumption. We will also fund training and technical programs for regenerative and organic farming.
  5. Breaking the Supermarket Duopoly: we will break the stranglehold held by supermarkets in Aotearoa by support the establishment of Māori-owned supermarket chains and allocating land and seed funding in commercially viable areas. We will also protect the rights of whānau to sell their homegrown kai without interference.

Our Kai Sovereignty Policy aims to address food insecurity and poverty faced by many whānau in Aotearoa. By revitalizing traditional practices and customs of gathering kai, promoting food security, protecting the environment, and empowering Māori communities, we are leading a transition from kai dependency to kai sovereignty.

The policy can be found here.

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