From the earliest times, food has always been high on the human agenda, according to Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn.
But now food security is very much in peril, prompting a hui in the Far North next week.
"In Aotearoa it began with tangata whenua reverence for the gods of cultivated and uncultivated plants that sustained ancient Maori civilisations, fast-forwarding eons to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which proclaimed adequate food as an inalienable human right," she said.
"Food became more prominent on the political menu due to increased concerns about genetically-modified organisms, mono-cropping, pesticide use and other destructive industrial agricultural practices, globalisation and corporate monopolisation of food production, and the alarming decline in food's nutritional value.
"Today, population increases and climate crises, weather and seasonal volatility, coupled with mass extinction events, put food production everywhere at extreme peril."
For many years those threats had motivated a wide range of response actions at community, national and international levels. And in the spirit of those ongoing efforts, and drawing on Matariki's harvest energy, a Te Tai Tokerau Local Seed and Food Security hui has been organised at Oromahoe Marae on Saturday week (June 16, powhiri 10am).
The hui would renew commitment to achieving seed and food resilience for the wellbeing of tamariki, mokopuna, whanau and communities over the next decade, she said.
Hosted in collaboration with Four Seasons Farms, and with the support of the Kai Ora Fund, the gathering was expected to generate concrete outcomes, including action to strengthen local seed banks and networks in Te Tai Tokerau.
The organisers invite interested community groups and people of all ages to participate, regardless of their level of gardening or food production knowledge and experience. Registration will be by koha.