New Zealand

Milk Fight. Part One.

Gaby Montejo’s ‘Milk Fight’ was part performance art, part Fonterra protest, and part simulated war. It was also one of the best experiences of my life. Armed with a bucket as a weapon and ski goggles as protection I spent an afternoon hurling hundreds of litres of milk at my opponents and getting drenched by them in retaliation. The event took place on 25th October 2014 as part of FESTA, and went on to be nominated for a national art award. In the approach to this year’s FESTA and my upcoming return to New Zealand, it seems like a good time to revisit it. In part one of this two part interview I talk to Gaby about the dairy industry, the set-up – conversations with farmers, Ngai Tahu, and FESTA organisers, and the significance of the event.

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Artist Gaby Montejo at Milk Fight. Photo by Chloe Waretini.

New Zealand

Kakanō Cafe and New Zealand’s culinary heritage (part 2)

Jade Temepara’s Kakanō Cafe is a modern initiative that is novel because it celebrates a return to the methods of the past.  She is teaching skills that have been forgotten and re-planting seeds that have been lost.  The cafe includes a seed to plate garden with heritage produce and an on site cookery school with workshops, classes, and speaker events.  In my former job with Life in Vacant Spaces I was involved during the cafe’s set-up and I saw the excitement build around the space.  The homeless men that hung out at Pete’s Landing across the street helped her build the garden beds.  “They think it’s their pad,” she says.  The librarians at the National Archive next door gave her their files and research of heritage produce and Maori food preparation.  Everyone got involved – backpackers, neighbourhood residents, Jade’s family members.  Here she tells me about her family, her ideas about New Zealand cuisine, and the future of Kakanō.

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Jade’s daughter at the Kakanō opening. Photo by Peter Langlands.
New Zealand

Kakanō Cafe and New Zealand’s culinary heritage (part 1)

Jade Temepara is no stranger to getting things done.  Her initiative Hand Over A Hundy gave families resources and mentoring to start home gardens.  She told me about a corporate office that approached her and wanted to create a garden of their own.  They had set up a committee and began scheduling a series of meetings to discuss their plans.  When they told Jade that they might be able to start on the ground in a year, she excused herself and left.  “I need to go start a garden right now, on my way home.”  Her current space on Peterborough Street took more than an afternoon to set up, but I watched her team transform a vacant rubble lot into Kakanō Cafe and Cookery School within mere months.  Here she talks about indigenous cuisine, the importance of food in community, and Kakanõ Cafe and Cookery School.

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Jade talks to guests at Kakanō Cafe’s opening. Photo by Peter Langlands.