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On Discomfort from Gemma Fitzpatrick #ManaKai

On Discomfort from Gemma Fitzpatrick #ManaKai

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As an anxious, procrastinating, perfectionist the list of things that bring me discomfort is not short. Strangers, deadlines, unprompted phone calls, the list goes on.

However, as an immigrant, I know that in coming to Aotearoa, and calling this new country home, I have to sit in feelings of discomfort. I have the privilege of being able to learn from and embrace a new culture, and if anything about it makes me uncomfortable, that’s on me.

So to the point. As a member of the @eat.newzealand Kaitaki I was given a chance to reflect on the proposed Mana Kai Framework.

The framework has 3 main areas - Mana o te Whenua, Mana Kai & Mana o te Tangata, each with 3 sub-pillars.

On first reflection, it made me uncomfortable. That’s on me.

It’s on me to learn all the words I don’t know, learn their meaning and their impact. As someone who wants to be a part of our Aotearoa food future, that’s on me.

And I will, I’ll practice the sounds and hold space for those with more knowledge than I to share these concepts. But I couldn’t help think, will every immigrant? I have the privilege of time, and of being part of a group that make me uncomfortable. But so much of our food system is powered by people working hard, day in and day out, to scrape together a living, whose first language is not always even English. If we don’t make this framework accessible to ALL those who empower it, will it work?

I have also reflected that my feeling so distanced from my heritage and culture, may mean that I’m projecting this estrangement onto others who may inherently understand these concepts. I don’t have the words, but others might. This space is for them.


heirloom tomatoes

they’re a seasonal delight

a thing of beauty


#eatnewzealand #eatnz #manakai #kaitaki #instaessay


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