He Kākano is helping to bridge the disconnect between people and the land

by Catherine Woulfe / 29 August, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - He Kākano

Jade Temepara in He Kākano.

A television tour of New Zealand with Jade Temepara is more about kaitiakitanga than it is about food and gardening

Jade Temepara delivers a shot of sunshine and sustainability can-do in her new series He Kākano (Māori TV, Wednesday, 7.30pm).

The 38-year-old mother of five runs a cafe and cookery school in Christchurch, and has been lauded for setting up Hand Over a Hundy, a scheme that helps families get started in gardening.

In March, for this 10-episode series, she set off on a tour of the country – specifically, her mates’ gardens – talking heritage, seed resilience and healthy kai.

Who’s on the list? Temepara rattles them off: food truck entrepreneurs Otis and Sarah Frizzell, musician Anna Coddington and league legend Tawera Nikau, who is pitching in to plant native trees in the Waikato area. Coco’s Cantina sisters Renee and Damaris Coulter pop up, too, and while in Auckland, Temepara stops in with her bestie, Sam Judd, who runs Sustainable Coastlines. “He talks a lot about the restoration of the waterways and links it in with mahinga kai, traditional food gathering, so that was really awesome.”

The first episode positively glows with good health and good intentions, minus any trace of sanctimony. There’s borage and basil and frangipani, figs and calendula, and cavolo nero everywhere you look.

Tiki Taane’s place in Papamoa gets a new vege garden – “get in there, ya little bugger,” Temepara mutters, whacking nails into macrocarpa sleepers – and the musician explains how he’s overhauled his lifestyle, going vegetarian, switching to solar power and driving an electric car.

Then it’s off to Waiheke Island, where Hinemoa Elder has built a flourishing vegetable garden and heritage orchard. Temepara gives her friend a hongi and a hug. They share figs and honey on the deck and marvel at the hugeness of Elder’s basil leaves and the hardiness of her heritage apple trees. They watch tūī nailing Elder’s figs – a moment that would have most garden-show hosts making a mad dash for the plastic netting, but not Temepara. She and Elder are just stoked the birds are there at all.

To round things off, Temepara cooks kōura tails and king prawns with horopito, kawakawa, chilli and citrus: can I get a nom nom?

But this is not really a show about cooking or gardening. It’s about kaitiakitanga: bridging the disconnect between people and the land.

Once we start working the whenua, the land, Temepara believes, we realise “how much we really want to protect it and take care of it”.

This article was first published in the August 25, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

Norah Jones’s new beginning and return to New Zealand
104817 2019-04-21 00:00:00Z Music

Norah Jones’s new beginning and return to New Zeal…

by Russell Baillie

The jazz songstress is staying inspired by writing with others.

Read more
Bill Ralston: Only fundamentalist Christians should be hurt by Israel Folau
104814 2019-04-20 00:00:00Z Social issues

Bill Ralston: Only fundamentalist Christians shoul…

by Bill Ralston

Israel Folau’s social-media post might condemn the Wallabies to Rugby World Cup hell, but the rest of us should ignore him.

Read more
What happens next with the Mueller report?
104863 2019-04-20 00:00:00Z World

What happens next with the Mueller report?

by Noted

Did Trump “corrupt” with intent?

Read more
The Heart Dances: Lifting the lid on the culture clash behind ‘The Piano’ ballet
104740 2019-04-20 00:00:00Z Movies

The Heart Dances: Lifting the lid on the culture c…

by Russell Baillie

Documentary offers an intriguing look at the clash of artistic sensibilities behind adapting The Piano into a ballet.

Read more
How this remarkable native insect is being saved
104836 2019-04-20 00:00:00Z Planet

How this remarkable native insect is being saved

by Jenny Nicholls

Principles of bird conservation are helping to save another remarkable native you’ve never heard of.

Read more
Environment Ministry 'unashamedly proud' of bleak report's honesty
104868 2019-04-20 00:00:00Z Planet

Environment Ministry 'unashamedly proud' of bleak…

by RNZ

The Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson said she was proud of the report's honesty and it was an important stocktake for the country.

Read more
The new What We Do in the Shadows is more dad joke than demonic
104712 2019-04-19 00:00:00Z Television

The new What We Do in the Shadows is more dad joke…

by Diana Wichtel

Diana Wichtel reviews a new American TV series based on the hit Kiwi comedy.

Read more
Louis & Louise is a satisfying exploration of gender and identity
104230 2019-04-19 00:00:00Z Books

Louis & Louise is a satisfying exploration of gend…

by Brigid Feehan

In her latest novel, Julie Cohen traces the parallel male and female lives of a single character.

Read more