Short Films | Ngā Kiriata

FIVE-Part Film Series

Ngā Kiriata

Our five-part short film series explores the broad ways in which whānau understand and engage with Māori food systems, and how these understandings influence their everyday kai practice.

Our goal is to share the stories of our whānau far and wide so they can affirm and support you and others to continue on your own journeys towards being in better relationships with our kai (and all that that entails).


Jasmine is a midwife and a mother to five children. She sees health as a holistic endeavour that is connected to all the ways in which we are in a relationship with the natural world, with our communities, and with our bodies.

‘He kai kei aku ringa’ for her reflects the hands of Papatūānuku, our primordial mother, providing nourishment for those who need it. She reflects on her own role as a mother, the times during which she persevered for the betterment of her children.


Tiana and her husband, Brad, are parents to a beautiful daughter. They are also both dedicated athletes with an in-depth awareness of how good nutrition can enhance their athletic performance.

Supporting their own nutritional needs, as well as that of their growing baby girl is a challenge because of their demanding schedules. Tiana leans on some important practical tikanga to ensure she is maintaining a good balance. ‘He kai kei aku ringa’ for her reflects an attitude of courage.


Te Ara Hou is a mother of three, and a new student at Toihoukura, a Māori visual arts school. She and her whānau recently made the big move away from her childhood home in Porirua to Gisborne. Raising her tamariki in a new environment and in the context of a supportive wider community has made a huge difference in Te Ara Hou’s life as she heals from past traumatic experiences.

‘He kai kei aku ringa’ for her is a calling of encouragement; a calling for her to keep reaching out for more; to fill her hands with the skills needed to collect the kai that’s available at hand.


Alex has lived in the West Auckland community for the last 20 years. Living in such a demanding urban centre means Alex is constantly walking a fine line between meeting the material and cultural needs of his whānau. The demands of working life mean there are fewer and fewer spare hours in the day – certainly not enough for Alex to grow and gather his own food.

When asked what ‘he kai kei aku ringa’ means to Alex, he discusses the presence of hākari (large structures for displaying feasts of food) used in former times as indicators of a hapu’s ability to feed their people.


Ebony has been planting and harvesting kumara in the small town of Te Teko her whole life. The practice from start to finish, has been passed down through her whānau for generations, as have many other life lessons. 

Ebony reflects on ‘he kai kei aku ringa’ as attaining the knowledge and experience to produce sustenance from the land. Her vision is an intergenerational one. In passing on the knowledge and tikanga of food growing, gathering, hunting and harvesting to her tamariki, Ebony knows that she is ensuring the continuatio of  her whakapapa.