Food & Social Enterprise: A Showcase Event!


Some of the most outstanding and inspiring entrepreneurs in the country will share their stories at a free seminar in Rotorua this month.

A Food & Social Enterprise – Showcase Event, featuring six speakers from successful school and community-based food initiatives from around New Zealand, will be held at Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic on October 28.

The line-up will include Zaynel Sushil from Ka Pai Kai which provides healthy lunches to 12 primary and pre-schools in Tokoroa; and Julia Milne from Common Unity Project Aotearoa, who grow enough food on a disused soccer field to feed the children of Epuni School in Lower Hutt three times a week.

Two of Christchurch’s post-quake success stories will also be highlighted with talks by Jade Temepara from Kākano Café & Cookery School, and Louis Go from Cultivate Waste.

Showcase organiser Jasmin Jackson says the free, two-part event will benefit anyone interested in learning about, or establishing a food-related enterprise that is good for the community and the environment.

“It will be great for sports clubs and other groups looking for ways to generate revenue, as well as marae, iwi entities and community organisations wanting to make positive change to support people in need. The afternoon session, showcasing school-based food enterprises, will be of particular interest to school teachers, principals, board of trustee members and parents.”

She says participants will be given the opportunity to discuss their own ideas with the speakers who have ‘been there and done that’, and are keen to share their knowledge and learning with others.

The Food & Social Enterprise – Showcase Event is being run by Healthy Families Rotorua and the Rotorua Local Food Network with the support of Rotorua Lakes Council, Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service and Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

The event will run from 8.30am to 4.30pm in C Block at the Mokoia Drive campus.
Register at

For more information, contact Jasmin Jackson at
or on 022 658 0841. For all media enquiries call Lani Kereopa on 022 542 6723 or email


Morning Session: Community-based food enterprises

Kākano Café & Cookery School (Christchurch) – Jade Temepara
Based on a Life in Vacant Spaces site in central city Christchurch, Kākano serves traditional Māori foods and boasts an impressive 240 square metres of organically grown food gardens as a focal point of its many community activities.

Cultivate Waste (Christchurch) – Louis Go
An initiative aimed at reducing the amount of organic waste ending up in landfill, Cultivate Waste collects food scraps from inner city cafes and restaurants and transfers it by electric bike and trailer to a thriving urban farm run by partners Cultivate Christchurch, where it is turned into compost for use on crops.

Brown Owl Organics (Rotorua) – Janine Cotter
Brown Owl’s goal is to provide the Rotorua community with affordable, safe, and nutritious organic food, to enhance people’s health and wellbeing.

National Good Food Network (Auckland) – Emily Dowding-Smith
A national food network made up of various organisations collaborating on improving access to healthy food in their communities.

Afternoon Session: School-based food enterprises

Common Unity Project Aotearoa (Lower Hutt) – Julia Milne
What started as a school garden, has grown into a community-run hub with an urban farm, koha kitchen, honey collective, bicycle library, and sewing, knitting and play groups.

Ka Pai Kai (Tokoroa) – Zaynel Sushil
A small trial aimed at providing nutritious, appealing and affordable lunches at a school in Tokoroa, has blossomed in just one year into a community project involving over eight schools in the town.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Raelynn Marks

    How do we apply for “the backyard garden”

    1. Admin

      Hi there, sorry for the late reply. I believe the 40 places have been filled, but you can pm Brent Mags on Facebook at to be put on the list in case anyone pulls out.

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