Now more than a year old, Ngā Kete Hauora has grown from humble beginnings as a weekday pop-up to a beloved community staple.
While the name brings night markets to mind in 2023, that was not where the initiative originally started back in 2022.
The initiative first launched in August of that year as a way to encourage vaccinations across Covid 19, influenza and simply being prepared for the “sick season”.
Our team at Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust, spearheaded by Ria Brosnan, were joined by Te Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea and Te Ao Hou Trust in hosting these health promotion pop-ups at the Y2 Hub building on Church Street, every Thursday of that month.
The events were well attended for their size, and included competitions, prizes, food and entertainment free to whanau who came along.
Trained vaccinators were also onsite to speak with anyone unsure about getting their shots, and get whanau sorted on the day if they chose to be vaccinated.
We were lucky enough to have Sylvia Rangiahua on our team at the time as well, who put together all kinds of natural remedies into gift bags, which we gave out as prizes across the four pop-ups.
These gift bags were where the name “Ngā Kete Hauora” came from, representing the events as a whole being a collection of benefits to your health, be that physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise.
The collective of organizations had hoped to hold a street party for the fourth and (at the time) final Ngā Kete Hauora pop-up, but time constraints meant we couldn’t get the entertainment or street closures sorted in time.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise however, as we then set our sights on bringing the community together in a bigger way.
The next Ngā Kete Hauora event kicked off on the 20th of October 2022, and it was our very first night market at the Opotiki Skatepark, and the rest is history.
As Ngā Kete Hauora continued to grow over the coming months, so did the communities love for the markets, which has called for their return this year as well.
So, as we move into summer and continue to grow the Ngā Kete Hauora initiative even more, we hope you’re ready for what we have in store for another awesome summer.
An event proudly brought to you by Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, Te Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea and Te Ao Hou Trust.