Rotorua's 2019 Lakeside - Waiata Mai combines entertainment and charity.

As well as enjoying performances at one of Rotorua's biggest annual events, people can also help fill the tummies and keep the minds sharps of local school children by supporting Ka Pai Kai Rotorua.

Lakeside will be on March 9 at the Rotorua Village Green. It is a free annual outdoor concert featuring the best of Māori, classical and contemporary music, which also supports a local charity through the event each year.

This year's charity is Ka Pai Kai Rotorua. People can donate gold coins at the concert, or this year there is the option to donate online, with online donations already open.


Ka Pai Kai Rotorua chairwoman Jasmin Jackson says it was an exciting surprise when the charity found out it would be Lakeside's recipient this year.

"We had no idea our name was put forward.

"It is really good timing. We are in a very exciting but expensive growth phase, as we have just relocated to a kitchen of our own to allow us to provide nourishing lunches to more schools this year."

Ka Pai Kai Rotorua is a healthy school lunch service and equity-based social enterprise, which provides lunches at a range of different prices, making healthy food affordable.

It currently provides lunches to 10 Rotorua schools.

"We know some families can't afford what it costs for a healthy lunch."

She says Ka Pai Kai is a not-for-profit charity that launched in 2017 with three schools.

By the end of 2018 it was working with nine schools and had outgrown the kitchen it shared with Taharangi Marae.


Jasmin says this year, with support from Rotorua Lakes Council, Bay Trust, generous community sponsorship and other funders Ka Pai Kai Rotorua had been able to afford to move into a kitchen of its own.

As of Term 1 this year, the charity has 11 schools onboard, with four additional schools lined up.

Jasmin says the money raised from the Lakeside concert will be useful in helping to pay for overheads which are hard to get funding for, such as gas, power, and wages for contractors when it was busy and they did not have enough volunteers available.

"Without this funding, we would have to add these expenses onto the cost of our lunches, which would make them too expensive for some families. We want to make healthy food accessible for everyone."

Jasmin says Ka Pai Kai Rotorua is still in need of kitchen volunteers, especially on Fridays.

"We would love to have some more volunteers happy to spend some time contributing to our community in our kitchen."

Lakeside Concert Charitable Trust chairman Ian Edward says the trust is always keen to support something which has a local flavour and is proud of the money it has been able to generate for local charities over the years.

"It's a recognition by the community of the wonderful work being done by the charity involved, and from our point of view it's a free concert and a way to say thanks from Rotorua."

The line-up for this year's Lakeside concert includes The Koi Boys, Mark Williams, Jamey Ferguson, Jack Grace, Suzanne Lynch, Krissie Knap, the Yandall Sisters, Elisha Hulton, Howie Morrison Jnr, Cherie Mathieson, Daniel Nathan, Rewa Ututaonga, Turanga Merito, Hinerongonui Kingi and Atutahi Potaka-Dewes.

If you would like to contribute a donation to Ka Pai Kai online go to