Māori chef aims to feed 90,000 homeless in Melbourne

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Erueti Tutaki is fast becoming one of New Zealand's most in-demand chefs, who has been in South Auckland feeding children through the initiative “Feed the Need” for the last five years, as a volunteer.

Now he looks to set his sights across the Tasman to Melbourne, to help feed the more than 90,000 homeless there.

For the past 5 winters, this chef has volunteered his skills to feed children of South Auckland in need of some great food. But now he's extending his kindness abroad.

Tutaki says, “I'm going to Melbourne, Australia, to help support and feed the homeless families there.”

There are over 90,000 homeless people living in Melbourne, and this chef has the necessary skills to help.

Major Allan Bateman says, “He's going to take his know how of how to do mass cooking.  You know he can do 1500 meals in a day here, so he's going over to show them how to do some set up, and some mobile kitchens, in a container type environment, where they can take the food and provision and actually the cooking right to where the people are in the community.”

“Families can't afford to pay for necessities such as electricity or water, so what we do is provide them a meal, it helps,” says Tutaki.

Many of those homeless in Melbourne are Māori, Pacific Island and aborigine, and Tutaki will be leaving his loved ones behind while he takes on the mission to help them.

He says, “The most important thing to me is having the support of my family, my wife and children.  Thankfully they understand why I am going, and they're fine with that.”

His new mission will take 3 months to complete.  While he'll be entering new territory, Chef Eru is ready for the next task at hand.