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Otago Polytechnic | Te Pukenga akonga food event celebrates student ‘lifecycle’

Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga ākonga are busy preparing an immersive food experience celebrating the unique and diverse stages of a student’s “lifecycle”.

The first and second-year Bachelor of Culinary Arts ākonga have organised “Tātou tātou – All of us! Ka pū te ruha ka hao te rangatahi (As the old net is cast aside, the new net goes fishing),” comprising food stalls and food experiences aimed at feeding no fewer than 250 ākonga.

To be held at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin Campus on Thursday 2 November (4.30pm-7pm), the free event will offer a “memorable culinary journey that encapsulates the essence of student culture and personal growth”, organisers say.

The event has been supported by the Manaaki Fund, which provides pastoral care and financial assistance for ākonga.

“The central theme of the event revolves around the lifecycle of a Dunedin student, spanning the initial excitement of new beginnings and the challenges of new experiences and learnings, and culminating in the bittersweet farewell as they graduate and embark on new adventures,” Juliane Tautz, one of the event organisers, says.

Juliane says key goals of the event include:

-Manaakitaka – encompassing reciprocal hospitality and respect among our ākonga by extending aroha through kai prepared by the Culinary Arts Students

-Community whakapuāwai – fostering a sense of community and hauora among ākonga, encouraging collaboration, friendship and a sense of belonging

-Sustainability – promoting sustainability and awareness through the use of locally sourced and foraged ingredients

-Personal growth – celebrating the unique student lifecycle, including highlighting the emotional reality of student life

The organisers are also looking to establish an Ākonga Pātaka Kai (Student Food Pantry).

Although Tātou tātou is free, the first and second-year Culinary Arts ākonga are inviting attendees to make a gold coin donation, which will help establish a community pantry in the coming months aimed at addressing food insecurity and promoting sustainability.

“The pantry would offer affordable fresh produce, sourced from local growers and producers, to struggling students and community members, and will be placed in Otago Polytechnic’s Forth St Hub where it can be easily accessed and serve as a visual reminder to the institution’s commitment to the pastoral care of ākonga,” Juliane says.


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