Kaitiaki Kai: Pt. 2
June read Kaitiaki Kai: Pt. 1 before I published it last Monday. She said the nurses’ newsletter used to be called ‘Kai Tiaki’. I looked it up online- it still is. I also came across an article that said that the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is perhaps the only mainstream organisation to have kept Kaitiaki in “constant use”*: right from the inception of its newsletter in 1908 to producing, from 2022 onwards, a version online only**. (See *Are We Using The Word Kaitiaki Appropriately? and **Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand.)
June was seventeen when we started going out and several months later she started to work and study to become a registered nurse (in obstetrics and gynaecology). Seventeen years a nurse – right up until we moved to Little Owl Gully. From kaitiaki, ‘a person who cares for’ (patients), to kaitiaki kai, ‘a person who cares for food’. Either way, duty of care is paramount.
Food for our family to eat – the one use of our land that eclipses all others. Another key land use has been the growing of trees for firewood. It’s tempting to give firewood supply the same status, being the essential way we keep ourselves warm and heat the water, not to mention it being one of my areas of responsibility! (I’ll try to gain some added kudos though by casually reminding readers that the woodstove’s hob and oven are used to cook said food.) However, although I can recall four years out of the thirty when I’ve got a truckload of logs delivered, we’ve never bought in most of the food we’d eat in even a single day.
I think the most compelling evidence to back up my claim last week that ‘AsureQuality’ is the alien concept for us, not the ‘Kaitiaki Kai’ of our indigenous peoples, is (as indicated on the map sheet), what they term our ‘Total Effective Hectares’.
If we were using our land in an ‘effective’ way, we would be, by definition, ‘successful in producing a desired or intended result’. As their website tells us: “AsureQuality provides food assurance services that support high standards of quality and safety in New Zealand’s primary and food sectors.”
I steer away from calling ourselves so much as a farmlet, despite their insistence that we have a ‘Farm ID’, ‘Key Decision Maker(s) For Farm’, and that ‘Little Owl Gully’ is down as the name of our farm. Crop details need to be in ‘Hectares’ and goats are classified as ‘Other Animals” and simply ‘Goats’. I guess for them, calling our ‘Main Farm Type’ a ‘Lifestyle block’ says it all!
Of course I’m being unfair – we’re not exactly producing a commodity; just because we’re not a good fit doesn’t mean I regard it as “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Using their score card criteria, we would score a duck in the ‘effective’ department.
But I do value the way the Asure Quality/Kaitiaki Kai branding, satellite photo and associated data have provided me with a lens through which I can view ‘Our Place’ from a fresh perspective.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.