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System reset – Regenerating the marae economy

July 2020

Publication: MAI Journal
Author(s): M. Kawharu

What role can marae communities play in a post-COVID-19 lockdown’reset’? This situation report looks at the opportunity of unlocking innovation within marae kin communities through developing food system enterprises. It considers the idea of regenerating gardens and associated initiatives. It argues that gardens that once fed local kin communities may not only provide kai for locally resident members but also be developed at new scales and so provide for kin members wherever they live. There is also the opportunity to re-engage with, and harness, community knowledge of growing, of gardens, of ancestral landscapes and related Mātauranga, and to share all this with multi-located marae community members who have been disconnected from these foundational layers of community kōrero for one or more generations. Resetting the economic and cultural agenda from a marae community perspective is important now more than ever given the uncertainties that have emerged since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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