Kaitiaki Kai: Pt. 1
I always feel a reassuring sense of place when, every year around mid-winter, the Asure Quality envelope lands in our letterbox: our place takes centre stage, in fact takes up much of the stage, on the enclosed satellite map.
‘Reassured’ but not ‘assured’, in the sense of our place giving ‘an extremely assured, or in other words, confident performance’ in any category that AsureQuality would applaud. Whether you spell it correctly with a double ‘s’ or create a brand name with a single one, it just doesn’t do it for us, and likewise, we don’t do it for them. Not that I want to get earnest about ‘us’ and ‘them’ in this case: we’re talking life and death scenarios here, and, of course, not exclusive to humankind.
AsureQuality has an offshoot, AgriBase, which is responsible for updating the information they collect about all farms, including the smallest of lifestyle blocks. There’s no mandatory requirement that we return, updated as necessary, the map, crop and stock details, and all the other identity and contact information, but every year we dutifully mail it back in the postage paid envelope.
Each farm is allocated a unique ID, and for the vast majority, the database will be up-to-date. Rural communities use AgriBase for hazard preparedness and disaster recovery, as explained in the letter that accompanies the map:
In a medical emergency, people in rural communities might also call on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter for help. The reverse side of the letter tells us about Stephen, who was mowing grass in a backblocks paddock inland of Cheviot in North Canterbury when he got stung mulitple times by wasps. When Jason, the paramedic taken in by helicopter, arrived, Stephen was drifting in and out of consciousness and “in a state of anaphylactic shock”. Needless to say, he survived!
We never have in the past, but this year, having paid much more attention, one way and another, to their heartstring tugger, I’ll donate $20 to the Air Rescue Trust via the AsureQuality website before Kaitiaki Kai goes live.
Which brings me to Kaitiaki Kai. Of course you can google it to get a fair translation of the phrase. I have a rudimentary understanding of things Maaori, and combined with some online research, came to the conclusion that Kaitiaki Kai fits the bill for us in a way that AsureQuality never will. Next week I’ll explain why.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday’s Kaitiaki Kai: Pt. 2. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.