Boat club helps marae with fish parts
An Auckland boating club is putting unwanted fish cuts to good use and helping tackle nutritional, environmental and social issues at the same time.
The Outboard Boating Club (OBC) on Tamaki drive have partnered with the Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae in Mangere for its health food programme. Thanks to the club’s upgraded fish filleting facility, which includes chillers and bins, the unwanted parts of a fish are utilised by the marae and South Auckland families.
Members of OBC separate unwanted fish heads, trimmings and offal from their catch which are collected by the marae.
Fish heads, regarded as ‘rangatira kai’ or chiefly food by tangata whenua, frames and roe are distributed by the marae to local families, churches, soup kitchens and other marae in Mangere. The fish guts are used as fertiliser in vegetable gardens of kumara, kale, rocket, beans, chillies and herbs.
OBC commodore Russell Watson said the scheme provided a winning solution for everyone involved.
‘‘The club’s fish trimmings are efficiently removed and the marae gets a valuable food supply,’’ Watson said.
The marae’s garden manager Lionel Hotene said the ongoing partnership with OBC worked towards its goal to wean the community off fast food.
‘‘We see food, along with exercise and clean living, as the cata- lyst for social change which includes the elimination of the many gangs found in Mangere,’’ Hotene said.
‘‘We know what good food looks like and we want to make it more accessible to the community who are otherwise increasingly exposed to junk food.’’ Scott Macindoe said bringing the tow groups together had a winwin-win outcome.
‘‘[It] has respect for the fish and environment, respect for our communities and self-respect - knowing we can put in a little extra effort and do the right thing.’’
Lionel Hotene of Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae, left, collects the fish parts from Commodore Outboard Boating Club Hobson Bay Russell Watson.