Far North whānau love living off the grid in lockdown

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

It's a hidden gem in the Far North but now it's home to 18 whānau. 

Lockdown has brought whanau members home from Whangārei, Auckland and as far as Australia.

Many of them feel like the return home has lifted the mauri of the whenua. Fifteen mokopuna in total are now living in the papa kāinga.

It has also enabled them to reconcile with wider whānau members, 
Living off the grid comes with hard work - each member has a job to do, whether it's possum trapping, fishing, hunting or feeling, even the kids have their jobs.

With that hard work comes the rewards - plenty of kai, especially kina.

The Waikara marae has established its own COVID-response team that has come up with action plans, tangihanga response teams and they're investing in their future with hopes of starting their own kura.

The whānau at Waikara have decided life off the grid is so good, they're going to continue living that way.