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The elimination of food poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Not having enough food means I have no energy and getting food consumes my thoughts”


Quoted in the Families 100 Project, Auckland City Mission, 2014

Across Aotearoa New Zealand social service agencies, social enterprises, and food industries are giving out more and more food as a response to food poverty / insecurity. As more initiatives emerge to meet this growing issue of hunger within our communities no long term systematic solutions are resolving this. This compassionate charitable response creates a level of dependency on this charitable system. This dependency lies not only with those who receive from it but with our society as a whole as we continue this cycle of food insecurity.

Aotearoa New Zealand is a compassionate innovative well connected society.
We are capable of thinking outside the box for empowered, community driven, connected solutions.

We invite you to join us in seeking long term sustainable solutions to end food poverty and to ensure that all New Zealanders are empowered to source sufficient nutritious food in an ongoing way.

“We have an increasing number of people accessing our services who are in employment but struggling to make ends meet. They say things have got tougher and they are not managing to meet their costs each month so constantly in a deficit. The first costs to go are food – our clients say they make do and ensure the children are fed before the adults, however we know this is not a good solution”.

Salvation Army

Quoted in the NZCCSS Vulnerability Report June 2016

We are a collective of social service agencies focused on eliminating food poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand through finding lasting, structural, mana enhancing solutions.

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Our Vision

A Food Secure Aotearoa New Zealand

Our Goal

To create a food secure Aotearoa new Zealand through sustainable, structural and mana enhancing solutions that ensures all have access to affordable, nutritious, sustainable, culturally appropriate food.

Our Values

Structural change

Enhanced social and economic policy which leads to zero hunger in Aotearoa New Zealand

Mana enhancing

Strengths based, positive contribution to well being which honours the wisdom of lived experience

Sustainable systems

Food waste elimination, long term viability, support whanau/community capability


A connected approach valuing our diverse community

Te Tiriti grounded

Supporting rangatiratanga

Our threefold approach

  • Structural Change
  • Mana Enhancing Practice
  • Food Re/distribution

Why the elimination of food poverty is important

Sustained food insecurity is a stressor which has impacts beyond the acquisition of food. These impacts include the affects on:

  • mental health
  • physical health
  • relationships
  • educational achievement
  • the ability to be securely housed, and more

The sense of shame and whakamā of not being able to feed your children leads to children being kept home from school, contributing to an inter-generational lack of educational achievement.

“It is very uncomfortable to have 'blame' for Food Insecurity placed 100% on the shoulders of those suffering from it, as though it were a 'fault' or solely a result of consistently poor decision making” (Dr Winsome Parnell, one of NZs leading expert in food insecurity).

The last official survey of food insecurity in New Zealand was the 2008/09 Adult Nutrition Survey which revealed 7.3% of households in NZ were classified as having high food insecurity (pg. 264) . There were approximately 1.4 million households in 2008, with an average of 2.7 people per household, this would indicate around 236,000 New Zealanders were suffering from food insecurity in 2008. Reports from the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services indicate demand for food parcels has increased dramatically over the last 10 years.

While initiatives arising from the Families Package and from the Child Poverty Reduction Bill may alleviate some aspects of food insecurity, A larger and more complete range of initiatives will be necessary to eliminate food insecurity. Whilst the key “cause” of food insecurity in New Zealand is a lack of adequate income; given the ‘wicked’ nature of the problem, just as with housing, increasing income alone will not solve the problem. We need a more comprehensive approach.

The present government stated in the Speech from the Throne, given at the start of the current Parliamentary term:

“This will be a government of inclusion. All who live in this country are entitled to respect and dignity; all are entitled to live meaningful lives; all are entitled to care and compassion. Everyone should have a roof over their head and be warm in winter. Everyone should have food and a table to put it on." (our emphasis)

Together we will have the solutions to create long term sustainable change that empowers all to have sufficient, nutritious food. Come and help us create the solutions.

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Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai ngā iwi

"With what you have to offer, in what we bring too, together we all will thrive."

PO Box 12-090, Thorndon, Wellington 6144

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