Born out of the closure of Flaxmere’s New World Supermarket, Manaaki Mai o Pāharakeke – as it’s known – is a partnership between Sustainable HB, Flaxmere College, local organisations and residents to provide locals with regular healthy and affordable food.

Manaaki Mai o Pāharakeke began taking orders on Thursday, with the first boxes available for collection from the Flaxmere Community Centre on May 9.

“While the first delivery will be fruit and veggie boxes, this is just the start,” said Sustainable HB chief executive Emma Horgan-Heke. “This initiative is all about rangatiratanga mō te kai, or food sovereignty. It’s aimed at providing the Flaxmere community with sustainable, healthy, affordable food options so they don’t have to rely exclusively on the supermarket duopoly and long, vulnerable supply chains. 

“This is particularly urgent now we’ve seen how disasters like Cyclone Gabrielle can so quickly destroy road and rail transport links.”

The co-op will start with weekly fruit and veggie boxes and work towards adding other produce over time. The end goal is a full co-op shop, but this will depend on demand. 

“So if you want a local food co-op, please let us know by ordering a weekly veggie box,’’ Horgan-Heke said.

Orders can be placed online at

Shoppers are invited to choose, order, and pay for a kete kai that suits the size of their whānau, with orders opening every Thursday. When orders close the following Tuesday at 12pm, boxes of produce sourced as locally as possible are filled by a team of Flaxmere volunteers and ready for collection from Flaxmere Community Centre on Thursdays from 4-6pm.

“Food resilience is crucial for our entire region. If you’re in Hawke’s Bay and interested in being part of reconsidering the way we approach growing and producing food, perhaps involving local community or business enterprises, come and talk to us,” Horgan-Heke said. 

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ On Air


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  1. Love how ppl are helping the Flaxmere community like this and they’re getting things done I’ve always thought get rid of the middle man and go straight to the source would be cheaper. That middle man ran didn’t care about the community. Awesome e te whanau

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