Foodstuffs North Island and Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki Open Social Supermarket
15 December 2023
In the photo: Willa Hand – Social Supermarket Lead for Foodstuffs, Selena Eagle - Store Manager, Matt Heap – Owner Operator PAK’nSAVE Thames & Chris Quin – Chief Executive of Foodstuffs North Island
Foodstuffs North Island, the 101-year-old, 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative of grocers behind , New World, Four Square and stores has partnered with Te O Hauraki, to open the Coromandel’s first social supermarket in Paeroa.
Named Kai – Hauraki Social Supermarket, translating to "the Hauraki food basket" or "food cupboard" in te . The name draws on the Hauraki (tribal saying), “Haere ki Hauraki, he .” Come to Hauraki where our resources are abundant. The Hauraki Kai - the social supermarket - is a partnership approach to addressing food insecurity in the community, while preserving the mana and dignity of those in need.
The store will provide food and grocery products at low or no cost, utilising a points system within a conventional supermarket setting, ensuring accessibility to healthy and affordable food for the community.
Chris Quin, Chief Executive of Foodstuffs North Island said: “Many families are doing it tough and with the ongoing cost of living crisis, more and more people are struggling to put food on the table. We’ve made a commitment to be Here for New Zealand and one of the best ways we’ve found to support New Zealanders who can’t participate in retail for , is to partner with local community organisation who’re having a meaningful, long-term impact on their communities.”
“Over two years ago, we partnered with the Wellington City Mission to setup New Zealand’s first social supermarket and it’s humbling that today we’ve open number nine, helping improve the food security for thousands along the way” – he added.
Denise , General Manager for Te O Hauraki: said: “ Kai came out of our learnings from the COVID lockdowns where we learnt whānau live with the unrelenting daily pressures and stressors of food poverty. When provided with the opportunity to use their limited resources to make healthy and nutritional choices for their whānau in an affirming, no-pressure, no-stress, and non-judgemental environment, whānau have the repeated experience of exercising their rangatiratanga to care for their own. There’s also the opportunity for whānau to give back to their community through volunteering with Kai.”
“What sets Kai apart from a foodbank is whānau can shop for and choose the food and grocery essentials that meet their dietary, cultural and personal preferences, through using our points system. We support over 150 families a week to access kai and are excited about opening our new look Kai with the support of Foodstuffs North Island, and we’re certainly interested in hearing from whānau about their experience of this new model for tackling food insecurity” - she added.
Willa Hand, Social Supermarket Lead for Foodstuffs North Island said: “We’re big on community collaboration and have been really impressed by the work of Te O Hauraki. We provided them with support in the aftermath of the cyclone and they’re doing awesome mahi and making a big difference in their community.”
Foodstuffs North Island is the New Zealand owned co-operative behind the North Island’s , New World, Four Square and Gilmour’s stores. Being 100% locally owned, the co-op has made a commitment to be 'Here for NZ' and has promised to help ensure all New Zealanders have access to healthy, affordable food and to support local communities to thrive.
Willa Hand explains: “We’re a co-operative of local grocers so supermarkets and retail are what we’re good at, Te O Hauraki are in their community improving lives and making a difference, that’s their superpower. As partners, our teams bring the expertise to create the store, we provide ongoing training and support and help keep the shelves stocked. Te O Hauraki make sure the store is right for their local community, that it caters to their needs and their mahi is what will provide an awesome service. We’re in it together.”
Foodstuffs North Island opened its first social supermarket in partnership with Wellington City Council back in March 2021. The co-op has now partnered with community organisations to open a further eight social supermarkets across the North Island, with Kai becoming number nine.
Kai will also enable Te O Hauraki to offer wraparound services to help individuals access additional support. When someone comes into shop, services such as refuge and support for whānau to access services that best meet their needs can be discussed, helping address the underlying causes of food insecurity and promoting overall wellbeing.
Thames, under the guidance of Owner Operator, Matt Heap, will act as the buddy store for the new social supermarket, providing ongoing support and training to ensure the store’s success.