Para Kore: Going clean and green the Māori way

Us Kiwis aren't as clean and green as we like to think.

Aotearoa is one of the most wasteful countries on Earth. In fact, we rank 10th in the developed world. We throw away 2.5 million tonnes of rubbish every year and in Auckland alone, that's enough waste to fill Eden Park up on a weekly basis.

But there are people making a difference to this mountain of para (rubbish). In Raglan, a Māori waste management program is tackling this problem more marae at a time. The program is called Para Kore, which means 'zero waste', and there's already close 300 marae already on board.

Para Kore general manager Jacqui Forbes says it's about challenging the culture of throwing everything away.

"What we're trying to do is we trying to normalise zero waste behaviour. So, we're creating a culture shift. We've got hundreds of truck and trailer units on our roads like right now carting waste to landfill. And the problem being that in probably 75 percent of what's in the truck or trailer units is recyclable or compostable".

Jacqui adds landfilling rubbish is not only the wrong choice, but an irresponsible one.

"Landfills produce methane which is a global warming gas, and they produce leachate which can contaminate groundwater in our waterways".

Orakei Marae in Auckland has been mastering the Para Kore lifestyle for almost 10 years, Beronia Scott says. While it's been really challenging over the years, their kitchen is now a waste free zone.

"We have worm farms, compost, bokashi and our birds and our dogs, those are our main groups of Para Kore. We're actually in the motion now of getting rid of our skip bin - we could go to a red lidded bin like at your household."

Para Kore is planning to extend its reach to all marae throughout the country.

The Hui

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