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Shaping the future of our food
9 March 2015

Globally, a people’s food movement is upon us.

A food movement is about communities driving demand for healthy, sustainable and fair food.  In cities around the world, we’re seeing more farmers’ markets (a nearly three-fold increase in the last decade), and more young people getting back into farming.  Many grocery stores are now displaying local food and produce with pride.

Here in New Zealand the food movement has been growing in recent years.  Several collective groups across New Zealand are spurring this on, such as ‘Kai Auckland: The People’s Food Movement’, and Dunedin’s ‘Our Food Network’.  Another collective, known as ‘Edible Canterbury’, has even supported the Christchurch City Council’s much needed policy on food resilience.

For many years, groups within the Tauranga and broader Western Bay region have been working tirelessly to support access to healthy and sustainably grown food.  Over time, we’ve seen the rise of community gardens, school vegetable gardens, planting of public fruit trees (such as the Kati Kaiway), farmers’ markets, food rescue services and other programs which reduce food waste. 

Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service (Toi Te Ora) is particularly passionate about our communities having access to healthy and wholesome food.  Dana Thomson, Health Improvement Advisor for Toi Te Ora, says, “We are committed to working with local authorities, community groups, organisations and local businesses to make healthy food choices the easy choice.”

In coming weeks, both the Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council will be considering what kind of role they may have in supporting the future of food in our region.  In upcoming public meetings one of the speakers will be Ms Thomson discussing the future of food in the Tauranga region.

“Already, our councils are playing an important role in responding to community interest, for example, by developing the community garden policies and supporting the planting of fruit trees,” says Ms Thomson.  “I think the councils have already done great work in this area and I am excited about the opportunity to work together and with our communities to support the food movement,” says Ms Thomson.
If you would like to hear more, you’re invited to attend the upcoming public meetings at Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council. 

Tauranga City Council
Tuesday 10 March at 6.30pm
Tauranga RSA - 1237 Cameron Road, Tauranga.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council
Thursday 19 March at 11.00am
Council chambers, 1484 Cameron Road, Tauranga.

Toi Te Ora will also be exploring this topic at ‘Inspiring Sustainability in the Bay’. This is being hosted by the Sustainable Business Network on Thursday 26 March from 2.30pm to 8.30pm at Waimarino, 36 Taniwha Place, Bethlehem.

If you’d like more information or you’d like to share your ideas on supporting the food movement locally, please contact Toi Te Ora on 0800 221 555.  More information can also be found online here:

Last modified: 17 Feb 2021
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