Nooks – Māngere Bridge

“Yesterday I had my birthday so I shared a meal with my wife and kids. My wife is Cook Island Tahitian and I’m Māori so my kids are pretty much a fruit salad!

We had an awesome meal. It had little cherry tomatoes stuffed with cream cheese, a bit of coleslaw on the side, apple and pork schnitzels, and falafels.

Food is like soul food. Everybody gets to experience that; it’s not just about the food itself, but also more about the spiritual side of things. Reconnecting with one another. We use food as an excuse to bring us together. I love my Indian food as well so my kids experience everything. Steak, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Māori, Pacific Islander, different Pacific Island foods so yeah they’ve had a pretty good opportunity to try different kinds of food.

I grew up in Ngāruawāhia back in the ’80s. We were brought up when they had the wooden potato crates. Our aunties and uncles used to throw the old woolly blankets down and chuck us in there almost like a little kindergarten. So, from there we used to watch our uncles carve the meat up, getting ready for massive occasions in Tūrangawaewae Marae.

There’s definitely a disconnect today. Wherever my kids go, it doesn’t matter whether we’re here in Phnom Penn in Māngere Bridge, or at the roast takeaways, we will still sit and eat. It’s a means of seeing what the kids are up to at school. Even if it’s just me and my partner going out for a date, I’d still sit down with her and have karakia.”

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