The organisation Kai Rotorua is leading an initiative to establish a Food Hub in Rotorua. The proposal is that a Living Building is built as a focal point for promoting and educating people around food sustainability and indigenous food providence. It would also house a seed bank and a kumara museum showcasing the history of kumara in New Zealand. It would provide the Rotorua community with a way to connect people to where their food comes from and to local growers, and a space for education around food and the need to enhance our local food sustainability, for example through growing more food in backyard gardens and reviving the growth of indigenous foods such as kumara. The idea for a food hub has the support of numerous organisations and groups in Rotorua and is part of Kai Rotorua’s mission to reconnect whānau to their food and Papatūānuku. Kai Rotorua is already responsible for a very successful kumara growing operation, involving large numbers of volunteers, school children, and eco-tourism visitors. The organisation is currently in discussions with Council and others regarding a suitable site on which to locate the Food Hub, and with funders and investors on the construction of the proposed $8M Living Building.

Evolve Rotorua believes that a sustainable Food Hub would be a great asset for Rotorua and that efforts to promote food sustainability and local food growing in Rotorua are important for building Rotorua to be a more resilient community as we are overly reliant on food imports despite our wealth of rural land and heritage.