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Mana-Centred Local Food System Model

Local food systems need to include more than fruit and vegetable producers. There are different categories of food based on processing and regulations.

Our wild food resources and the importance of continued access to areas supplying healthy mahinga kai deserve special consideration. They are places of important culture and sovereignty for Aoetaroa.

This Mana-Centred Local Food System Model acknowledges that we need to design an ‘infrastructure of the middle’. For example, freight and logistics are cost prohibitive for many small producers trying to reach their customers. Can food distribution facilities be extended to become local food hubs, ensuring long-term funding and pathways to self-reliance?

We re-imagine demand that can be enabled at the local government level. This includes procurement strategies or pledges that could include schools, hospitals, caterers, aged care residents, tourism business, hospitality and others. There are also central government levers that can be used. These include food dollars that are worth more when spent in local food systems. What are the opportunities to introduce green prescriptions, specifically those which would enable people struggling with food-related health concerns to be prescribed (subsidised or free) fresh, local food by health professionals?

We offer this model with the understanding that it could be reimagined by different communities. It’s a starting point to embark towards a different future.

Rural Professionals Fund output, 2023

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