South Auckland community enterprise 'Co-operapig' teaches families the business of pig-farming

A South Auckland community enterprise is giving families a chance to develop their entrepreneurial spirit with their own pig-farming cooperative, dubbed as the “Co-opera-pig”.

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They enable families and cooperative members to contribute, work with other families and reconnect with the land. Source: Tagata Pasifika

The community led cooperative seeks food scraps across local food markets to prepare for the pigs at a Pukekohe-based piggery.

It's been established with the help of Cook Islands community group CIDANZ and Dr Gillian Stewart in order to harness their enterprising spirit - a business that benefits everyone.

"For me it's important because it is about land being used for the benefit of more than just one family," Dr Stewart tells TVNZ's Tagata Pasifika.

"It makes me feel grateful that I can do something."

Dr Stewart says the goal is to "ensure the welfare of the land and the pigs is utmost in our mind", which means educating everybody involved including the places where they get their food supply.

The co-operative helps families understand the elements of owning a business and also the value of togetherness.

"What I'm thinking in the long run … if we breed them and have more of them we can make good business in the future," Co-operapig member Vao Soakimi says, adding it benefits her and her people because most pacific islanders consume an entire pig – particularly on special occasions.

"I sell it to my own people and that's why I like to do it."

CIDANZ spokesperson Janet Akai says the vision of the Co-operapig is to enable families and cooperative members to contribute, work with other families and reconnect with the land.