TODAY |

Auckland marae repurposing fish scraps to feed community

A marae in Auckland has saved 52 tonnes of fish scraps from going to waste, instead repurposing it to feed hundreds of families.

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The Kai Ika project project's now becoming a full-scale business. Source: 1 NEWS

Since 2016, Auckland's Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae has passed on 52 tonnes of fish heads and frames to families in need.

The project, called Kai Ika or Food Fish, processes up to 500kg a week.

“The project is about fish for the people, addressing a lot of those food insecurities a lot of our people are facing,” founder Lionel Hotene said.

The project was started with the help of Brian Hood, a member of the Outboard Boating Club in Auckland.

“What we did was encourage members through education and constantly talking about it, to separate their heads from the fish frames and from the offal, it's not hard to help someone else out,” he said.

Families can then collect it from the club to stew, fry or smoke it how they like.

The marae is using the project to teach at-risk youth how to cook, also receiving some council funding because of the way they reduce waste.

They use the remnants of the fish for fertiliser, which grows about 80,000 kumara a year.

Steps are now being taken towards making Kai Ika a full scale sustainable enterprise.

Mr Hotene says the business is a key to help create employment.