What we do

We act as a facilitator for food producers and the wider food ecosystem in the district to promote access to information, networking, technology, market access, community development, education and training.

Kaipara Kai Hub provides on-the-ground support that enables land to be used to its best potential.

The Hub is part of Kaipara Kai, one of four Kaipara KickStart projects funded by the Provincial Growth Fund and led by Kaipara District Council to stimulate economic growth and community wellbeing.

Kaipara’s fertile land and subtropical climate is suited for producing kai (food). The district is roughly two hours away from the biggest city and export port in New Zealand.

The Kaipara Kai Hub delivered by Northland Inc, has a key role of facilitating support to food producers in Kaipara district to connect them with people, organisations and information when they are trying new things.

Food producers could be anyone in the food value ecosystem such as landowners, growers, farmers, distributors, manufacturers, pack houses or retailers and restaurants.

Food producers may want to grow more diverse crops, try a new digital tool or technology, explore a new market, get funding for research and development, or trial a new management practice that could make their system more climate resilient.

Our service is to connect people wanting to try new things with the support they need to be successful and help them be more resilient if things don’t go to plan. We provide face to face services to food producers looking for support, we curate and host relevant events to share information and knowledge about contemporary food production and we compliment this with an online directory on our website and social media.

How it works

Launched in February 2020 as part of the Kaipara Kai project, Kaipara Kai Hub is a dedicated on-the-ground support system, designed for locals who are looking to get the very best from their land.

Kaipara Kai Hub is brought to you by:

Kaipara District Council

Kaipara District Council leads the Kaipara KickStart programme, which includes the Kaipara Kai project. Kaipara Kai is about increasing kai business opportunities in horticulture, aquaculture and agriculture by supporting landowners to transform their land use. It aims to fuel economic growth by enabling land to be used to its best potential. Kaipara District Council has also commissioned valuable research that looks at crop suitability and opportunities for food production in the Kaipara District.

Northland Inc

Northland Inc is the regional economic development agency for Northland that has been contracted by Kaipara District Council to deliver the Kaipara Kai Hub. The Kaipara Kai Hub team are employed by Northland Inc, which allows them to access a breadth and depth of knowledge and connections that support the work of the Hub. The involvement of Northland Inc also provides easy access to business support tools and funding for research, development and growth.

Supported by the Provincial Growth Fund

With support from the Provincial Growth Fund and NZTA the Kaipara District Council have allocated just under $29 million to invest in Kaipara’s economic growth and community well being. Kaipara Kickstart is the programme of work and has four parts: Roads, Wharves, Water and Kai.

Matt Punter & Lana Kennett

The Kaipara Kai Hub Team

Matt Punter

Matt is the Manager of the Kaipara Kai Hub in Ruawai. He brings a commercial focus and almost 20 years of experience in commercial postharvest research and molecular analysis. Matt is originally from Ruawai and worked previously with Plant & Food Research.

Lana Kennett

Lana supports Matt to deliver the Kaipara Kai Hub services. Originally from Kaipara and a graduate of Lincoln University, Lana is an all-rounder who has previously worked for AsureQuality and spent two years as an operations manager at a technology startup in Germany.