Greed dis­rupts Pataka Kai

Or­gan­is­ers sort­ing sys­tem to give every­one a fair deal

Rotorua Daily Post - - Front Page -

Ro­torua’s Pataka Kai, an open pantry ini­tia­tive en­cour­ag­ing the shar­ing of ex­cess kai, is bring­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to­gether but some are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the gen­eros­ity.

Or­gan­iser Jas­min Wairau said sev­eral of the Pataka Kai spots had been tem­po­rar­ily closed be­cause some­one was clear­ing out the gro­ceries.

She said or­gan­is­ers were try­ing to work out a sys­tem that en­sured every­one got a fair deal.

“Some­one, and we sus­pect it is prob­a­bly one per­son, has been go­ing around all the Pataka Kai and clear­ing them out. In the week­end I put about 8kg worth of fruit out and, within 10 min­utes, the whole box had been taken. That doesn’t ben­e­fit the whole com­mu­nity.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing for the oth­ers who need to use it. The idea is not to come and do your weekly shop, it’s for when you’re in those times of need. It should be give and take, if it was work­ing prop­erly there should not be empty shelves — we want to re­de­liver that mes­sage. “It’s a pos­i­tive kau­papa and we want peo­ple to know that if these are go­ing to be sus­tain­able, they need to give as well as take,” Wairau said.

Wairau said the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the ini­tia­tive came when her cousin no­ticed stalls out­side or­chards in Tau­ranga where ex­cess fruit was be­ing given away for free.

“We started about four months ago, we made a Face­book page and we have shelves up on the cor­ner of Thebes St and Osiris St, Ian St, Matuku St and at Ford­lands Com­mu­nity House.

“The idea is that peo­ple can drop off things they don’t need and take what they do need. It’s from the com­mu­nity, for the com­mu­nity.

“It works as a com­mu­nity food ex­change. It has been re­ally pop­u­lar, we have cars stop­ping all the time.

“We’ve tried to do it in a pos­i­tive way, to make it nor­mal. It’s some­thing that’s miss­ing, in one gen­er­a­tion we’ve lost that ‘bor­row­ing a cup of sugar from the neigh­bour’ sort of thing.”

She said it was dis­ap­point­ing peo­ple had taken ad­van­tage of the pos­i­tive kau­papa.

Photo / Stephen Parker

De­spite a pos­i­tive start, Ro­torua’s Pataka Kai or­gan­is­ers are dis­ap­pointed to see some peo­ple tak­ing more than they need.

David Beck

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