As we move through this modern world, it’s hard to imagine the landscape that once was – a vast watery landscape full of native birds, fish, plants and a people who lived here and harvested a wealth of natural resources in accordance with their knowledge of mahinga kai. But this landscape and traditional knowledge still exists in North Canterbury and resides with our local hapū Ngāi Tūāhuriri, in the names of places, in waiata (song) and kaupapa (principles) like manaakitanga – supporting and loving our people, our community and visitors – and kaitiakitanga – ensuring natural resources are in plentiful supply in order to maintain a way of life.
Then, as now, the region’s climate and soil, forests, rivers and coastlines allow for a diverse amount of foods to grow naturally throughout the entire year. Just like our Māori ancestors, we still grow, make and share produce for mutual enrichment. This shows through in the quality of our products; just visit any local farmers’ markets, cellar door, restaurant or café around our region and you’ll see this firsthand.