Kākano, the Christchurch cafe reintroducing Maori people to their own cuisine

In New Zealand, a community cafe serving traditional Maori food – including smoked eel spines and foraged herbs – is building a strong following across all communities

Muttonbird, sea plants and eel spines: these native New Zealand ingredients may no longer be components of many diets, but one woman and her cafe are trying to change that.

Jade Temepara, who is of Maori descent, set up Kākano just over a year ago in Christchurch. “Maori people are the unhealthiest, most unfit and most likely to have heart disease – and it’s because of our lifestyle,” says Jade. “Our cause is to bring our traditional food back, and to involve Maori people in the preparation.”

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