Waitomo News : 16 January 2014
24 Waitomo NeWs Thursday, January 16, 2014 ews WAITOMO ENOUGH vegetables to feed ‘the multi- tudes’ were planted in Te Kuiti in Decem- ber. The mass planting of potatoes and ku- mara in the Esplanade community gardens is part of the preparations for a huge picnic in Centennial Park in March, planned by Maniapoto Family Violence Intervention Network (MFVIN). The organisation works to prevent family violence in the North King Country. It is hoped the March 8 event will bring the Otorohanga and Te Kuiti communities together for a happy and relaxed family day. Volunteers will put down a hangi big enough to feed up to 3000 people and it is hoped much of the produce will be grown in community gardens with householders donating excess fruit and veges from their plots. “The councils and community groups might like to get involved as many vol- unteers will be needed,” says MFVIN co- ordinator Eddie Neha. “We have already had positive feedback from several local businesses, including New World Te Kuiti which gives food parcels to the police who take them to women’s refuge and homes where families are under pres- sure.” In addition to the giant hangi meal, there will be traditional fun games for all the family and entertainment featuring local talent. All ‘Picnic in the Park’ activities will be smokefree, alcohol-free, violence-free and free of charge. Key messages for the day include family violence is not Ok, it’s OK to talk about it and, it’s OK to seek help. Mr Neha says the picnic promoting neigh- bourly togetherness and goodwill while raising awareness that family violence is not okay is a massive challenge for MFVIN. “No single group could obviously do it all on their own, so hopefully everyone will play a part in making it a huge success. “MFVIN’s concern is the wellbeing of our families and sadly family violence is a prob- lem in the North King Country.” It is estimated up to 150 volunteers will be needed as well as support in the form of sponsorship, participation, communication and collaboration. Mr Neha says there will be plenty of op- portunities for people to lend a hand. Veges planted for mass picnic DIGGING IN: Planting potatoes and kumara in December for the Maniapoto Family Violence Interven- tion Network (MFVIN) Picnic in the Park hangi on March 8 was hot work. MFVIN co-ordinator Eddie Neha (pictured top left) put his back into the job, along with Ngati Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust’s North King Country Strengthening Families co -ordinator Savita McPhee (above). Tidy Gardens owner Katrina Christison of Otorohanga (rear) was also there to lend her expertise and a helping hand.
21 January 2014