Not your com­mon or gar­den pork roll

The Northland Age - - Local News -

North­land Re­gional Coun­cil spe­cialises in serv­ing food us­ing pests as in­gre­di­ents at the North­land Field Days, and will do again this week, Thurs­day to Satur­day.

And while this year’s of­fer­ing doesn’t sound quite as ex­otic as some in the past, sticky pulled wild pork hawker rolls will carry a se­ri­ous mes­sage.

A joint cre­ation by NRC, NorthTec Level 4 cook­ery stu­dents and their tu­tor Hughie Blues, the roll, ‘with a taste as big as its name,’ is billed as a de­li­cious mix of wild pork, wa­ter­cress, kawakawa tea and ginger mayo.

Kaipara coun­cil­lor Penny Smart said over re­cent years the coun­cil had trans­formed a va­ri­ety of pest an­i­mals, plants and even in­sects into an ar­ray of ed­i­ble treats as a fun way of spark­ing pub­lic in­ter­est in its broader work.

Last year’s taste sen­sa­tion was wat­tle seed-flavoured ice cream, pre­vi­ous of­fer­ings in­clud­ing rab­bit ris­soles, burg­ers, pies and pate all made from pos­sums, wild pork, veni­son and goat meat pies, rab­bit sausages and wasp lar­vae ice cream.

The coun­cil ap­pre­ci­ated that wild pork was a val­ued source of free food for some North­landers, she said, but feral pigs posed po­ten­tially se­ri­ous threats to the re­gion across multiple fronts, in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally and eco­nom­i­cally.

The were a po­ten­tial vec­tor for kauri dieback dis­ease, which the re­gional coun­cil had in­vested large amounts of time and re­sources into try­ing to con­trol, and could be quite phys­i­cally de­struc­tive, dig­ging up the ground in bush and pas­ture while hunt­ing for food.

They could also prey on ground-dwelling an­i­mals, in­clud­ing birds and their eggs and other na­tives such as snails, lizards and frogs.

NRC had teamed up with the hos­pi­tal­ity stu­dents last year to cre­ate the wat­tle-seed ice cream, and Cr Smart was de­lighted that the two or­gan­i­sa­tions had col­lab­o­rated again this year, as was NorthTec’s di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment, Phil Alexan­derCraw­ford.

“It’s an­other chance for our Level 4 cook­ery stu­dents to work on some­thing a lit­tle bit out of the or­di­nary, and they and Hughie will be on-site over the three days, pre­par­ing and serv­ing the food,” he said.

“It’s al­ways good for our hos­pi­tal­ity stu­dents to get out and about, cater­ing at events and gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that will help them get into a great ca­reer.”

Cr Smart said the coun­cil ex­pected to give away about 1500 rolls over the three days from its usual lo­ca­tion, Site 251 on Fon­terra Rd’

“If you’re keen to give one a try, the best times to visit us is at 10.30am, 12.30pm or 2.30pm each day,” she said.

Aside from the rolls, the coun­cil would have in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on var­i­ous as­pects of its work, in­clud­ing im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity, erad­i­cat­ing pests, con­trol­ling weeds, pro­tect­ing kauri and fund­ing for fenc­ing.

Spe­cial­ist coun­cil staff across a range of fields would be avail­able to of­fer ad­vice or chat about land and other is­sues peo­ple may have, and sev­eral coun­cil­lors planned to be there.

“This year you’ll also find a num­ber of com­mu­nity groups shar­ing our site space, in­clud­ing the In­te­grated Kaipara Har­bour Man­age­ment Group and Kiwi Coast,” she added.

“We’ll also have rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Mil­lion Me­tres streams project, Nga¯ Uri o Hau Na­tive Nurs­ery, and MPI’s kauri dieback team at­tend­ing.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the coun­cil’s pres­ence at the field days, in­clud­ing give­aways, go to www.Face­book.com/ North­landRe­gion­alCoun­cil

PIC­TURE / NRC

North­land Re­gional Coun­cil biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer War­ren Morunga with a wild pork roll sim­i­lar to those the coun­cil plans to give away this week.

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