Wild food, self-sustainability and connection with the environment will be the focus of a free event at Whanganui's Kowhai Park.

Volunteers are cooking up food from the sea, the forest and the home garden in the Creating Space Within Aotearoa event on Saturday. There will also be a focus on bodily health and wellbeing, with input from healing and exercise practices.

The event runs from 10am to 3pm, based near the pumpkin shelter at the children's playground.

It's a first for Whanganui, organiser Tururangi Rowe said, but it has been held before in Gisborne and Hawke's Bay. All the food and information will be free, and it's a zero waste event with single-use cutlery or dishes not acceptable.


"Everything is free, open to all walks of life. I've spent the last two weeks gathering kai for it."

Midday is the moment he and fellow organiser Harlem Ratapu plan to have food ready. People are asked to bring their own eating utensils, and there will be a place to wash them.

There will be a central space set up for eating and for playing music. Surrounding that there will be four zones for learning. Moana will be about gathering food from the sea, ngahere about hunting food in the forest and a third zone will focus on home vegetable growing.

The final one, called tinana, will be about the body and health, with people from disciplines such as yoga, massage, meditation and martial arts invited to supply information.

There's no funder, Rowe said, with money coming "out of our own pockets" and crayfish, paua, flounder, kina, venison, wild pork and vegetables coming from the earth, forest and sea.

It's about giving, without expectation to receive.

"We are creating space for people to use aroha, to use love."