Kids who have been in state care got an opportunity to spread the Christmas cheer tonight.

They put on an extravagant four-course dinner for other kids in state care and their caregivers.

They designed, prepared and plated the meal complete with canapés, entrées of vegetable tatin and fry bread followed by main course options of rosemary and sea salt lamb rump, or maple and apple glazed pork belly. Chocolate lava cake with icecream topped it off for dessert plus each guest got a goody bag.

They fed around 70 people at Eden Park, event spokesman Andrew Hobbs said.


"It's to bring them all together, to drive a positive sense of community and togetherness. It's all part of the care community bringing everyone together and enjoying this Christmas."

VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai staff member, Brad Davids, helping make canapes. Photo / Supplied
VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai staff member, Brad Davids, helping make canapes. Photo / Supplied

The event was put on by VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai - an agency that advocates for youth in state care and Chefs for Compassion, a programme that helps children give back by helping them prepare a special banquet.

VOYCE chief executive officer Dr Ainsleigh Cribb-Su'a said youth were involved in all stages of the event including MC-ing and performing. Their vision, since the agency started on April 1, was to create a care community that tamariki felt a belonging to.

"This provided an opportunity for care-experienced rangatahi to manaaki other children in care. Those rangatahi were enabled to lead, learn new skills, and develop a positive sense of identity."

VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai has been set up specifically to connect and stand alongside tamariki and rangatahi with care experience, nationwide. The organisation stands for Voice of the Young and Care Experienced - Listen to Me.

Chefs for Compassion has previously provided dinners for the Open Home Foundation, Child Cancer Foundation, Oranga Tamariki and Women's Refuge.