Hapu Hauora
How much kai should we eat?

When it comes to eating, size really does matter, and yes, you can have too much of a good thing.  Watching your portion size is a key factor in helping to prevent weight gain.

Using your hand can be an easy way to check the size of your food portions.

How do we cook and serve oranga kai on our marae?

Serving oranga kai is an important part of manaakitanga.  

  • Oranga kai guidelines promote healthy eating on your marae and support whānau to make oranga kai choices.  We have developed oranga kai guidelines and oranga inu guidelines for hapū to use that can help ensure the kai and inu served on your marae is healthy.

  • We've also developed oranga kai tips for ringawera that will help ringawera at your marae create an environment that supports whānau to make healthy kai choices and encourages role modelling for tamariki and rangatahi.



Below are some cookbooks ringawera may find helpful for your marae:

Kia Kaha Te Kai

This cookbook is a collection of recipes that Hauraki whānau love, that are quick and easy to make and don’t cost too much.  Some are old favourites that you’ll recognise, but with a few changes to fit the healthy kai kaupapa.  There are also some new ideas for when you feel like a change.  A big mihi to Gwendoline Welburn and Te Korowai Hauora ō Hauraki for the use of this resource.

Ngā Wāhine Atawhai ō Matukutureia Recipe Book

The Ngā Wāhine Atawhai ō Matukutureia Recipe Book was produced by the Māori Women's Welfare League.  This recipe book provides tips on portion sizes, healthy eating and cooking.



How do we promote healthy kai and role model to whānau?

You can motivate and tautoko whānau to make healthy choices by teaching them, leading by example, and giving other hapū members the skills to make healthy food choices.
Here are some ideas to promote healthy eating within your hapū:

  • Adopt the Hapū Hauora Oranga Kai Guidelines

  • Adopt the Hapū Hauora Oranga Inu Guidelines

  • Use the Hapū Hauora Oranga Wharekai Tips for Ringawera

  • Teach healthy cooking to tamariki and mokopuna

  • Put up healthy kai and inu posters around your marae

  • Provide information sessions on healthy eating, supermarket shopping tips, food safety etc

  • Host a marae healthy kai fair

  • Encourage and support your hapū to set healthy eating goals

  • Arrange group activities/challenges e.g. potluck lunches, recipe or cooking contests

  • Make public statements about your hapū/marae support for healthy eating

  • Ensure safe drinking water is available on the marae at all times

  • Explore kai atua.  What was the traditional kai for your iwi and hapū?  What ancestor is your wharekai named after? Explore this important history

  • Sign up to e-newsletters and promote to hapū members, such as: Hapū Hauora, Heart Life, Hospitality Hub, Toi Tangata, Breakfast Eaters, Feeding our families.

How do we teach our tamariki to make oranga kai choices?

Whether you're at home or on the marae, whanaungatanga makes meal times a fun whānau occasion.  Share news, stories from your day, enjoy each others company over healthy kai and role model good eating behaviours to tamariki. 

•    Have meals together as a family (when possible), turn off the TV and cellphones
•    Have meals at times that suit tamariki (this may mean some early dinners)
•    Provide three healthy meals every day (breaskfast, lunch and dinner)
•    Provide lots of different healthy foods for tamariki to choose from
•    Take your tamariki food shopping and encourage them to choose healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables
•    Encourage tamariki to try new foods (it takes a few trys to develop new tastes  - dont give up!)
•    Make preparing food fun – involve tamariki from an early age
•    Make tamariki serving sizes smaller than an adult’s – most don’t need to eat as much as us
•    Encourage whānau to stop eating when they feel full
•    Offer healthy snacks (low in fat, salt and sugar) between meals
•    Keep takeaways for occasional meals only (less than once a week)
•    Limit fruit juice and dried fruit – they contain a lot of sugar and are bad for your teeth
•    Avoiding using kai as a reward and don't force or push a child to eat
•    Stick to set meal and snack times instead of encouraging picking through the day.

How do we prepare and cook kai safely?

It's important to keep our hapū safe and well by making sure the kai we provide on the marae and at home has been prepared in a safe way. 

Te Kai Manawa Ora provides helpful advice to help you store, prepare and cook kai safely in your marae.


How do we build a Maara Kai (vegetable garden)?

Traditionally, Māori were essentially an agricultural people, with a large portion of their time and attention being given to cultivation.  Each village was surrounded by gardens, and everyone was involved in cultivation.

Have you ever thought about growing some of your own kai?  It can be a fun, active, and affordable way to feed your hapū, with all the added benefits of healthy produce free of sprays and additives like sugar, fat and salt.

The video and step by step guide below shows you how to build your own thriving no-dig vegetable garden, or ‘maara kai’.  A maara kai is a great way to live off the land and use traditional self-sufficiency.

Maāra kai is:

  • a food source for your whānau, marae, or hapū

  • a useful way to develop your land

  • a useful way to preserve and protect Māori kai

  • an opportunity to grow kai the Māori way and know how to do that

  • an opportunity to gain horticultural skills.

This particular maara kai was built at Toroa Marae (Pupuaruhe) in Whakatāne.  Use it as a guide when building your own maara kai at your marae, kainga, kura, wāhi mahi, or when contributing to a local community garden.

For more information about building a maara kai, email us.


Instruction sheet (click to open document)