Is Toko­roa the last kai stop for trav­ellers

South Waikato News - - Out & About - DANIEL HUTCHIN­SON

With State High­way 1 set to by­pass most towns in the Waikato, a new gen­er­a­tion of Toko­roa peo­ple is eye­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Toko­roa could con­ceiv­ably be one of the few towns that peo­ple will have to drive through as they trun­dle through the heart of the coun­try.

Towns like Cam­bridge and Taupo al­ready have ma­jor by­passes skirt­ing around them and trav­ellers only pull off the beaten track if they have a rea­son to.

There are more plans on the cards to by-pass more towns over the next few years.

Stu­dents sit­ting the cer­tifi­cate of vo­ca­tional stud­ies at the Toi Ohomai In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy have been busy prepar­ing their menus for suc­cess - based on the premise that Toko­roa will be the last town stand­ing.

Pa­tri­cia Wickey and Lyriq Iri­mana are two of the stu­dents who have stud­ied the tan­ta­lis­ing prospect of a mo­nop­oly on the taste buds of trav­ellers.

They have pro­posed, as part of their course, the con­cept of a busi­ness called ‘Cul­tural Kai’.

In fact it is more than a the­ory for Pa­tri­cia who is plan­ning to set up a stall at the Toko­roa Night Mar­ket this week. She will be drum­ming up a few veni­son sand­wiches, mus­sel frit­ters and fry bread.

Iri­mana said they had fo­cused on two main eth­nic food groups in Toko­roa - Cook Is­land and Maori Kai, in­clud­ing hangi food, and the ever-popular favourite of fry bread.

Their tu­tor Tia Kapene said there was ac­tu­ally an op­por­tu­nity for Toko­roa, in light of the high­way plans and she hoped some of the stu­dents could take ad­van­tage of that.

‘‘She will be drum­ming up a few veni­son sand­wiches, mus­sel frit­ters and fry bread.’’ Pa­tri­cia Wickey

She three groups of stu­dents pre­sented their ideas and con­structed busi­ness plans to back them up.

Iri­mana said their brief was to ben­e­fit the iwi and the hapu which was how they came up with the idea of food.

They have developed a Face­book page, com­plete with or­der­ing sys­tem and a menu com­plete with pipis and paua, fish and panakeke.

All that re­mains now is to put the ideas in to prac­tice al­though Iri­mana said he was plan­ning to con­tinue his stud­ies for a while yet.


Pa­tri­cia Wickey and Lyriq Iri­mana pre­pare to take ad­van­tage of a Toko­roa - the trav­ellers’ choice.

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