South Auckland Kuia feeds 1600 whānau

By Taroi Black

72-year-old Nanny Te Okeroa Wheeler has lived in South Auckland for over 20 years. Her ongoing mission to feed the hungry carries on today where she prepared kai for over 1600 whānau.   

“I love it, you know, support the communities of South Auckland.”

For the past 8 days Nanny Te Okeroa has led 60 kaimahi at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae which has partnered with the Auckland City Mission to deliver 200 Christmas packages a day.

Hundreds cued up at the marae to receive the last packages to be handed out before Christmas. Auckland City Mission’s plan is to distribute 10,000 parcels to 50,000 whānau.

“Most probably do 250 or close to 300 cos it's our last day and we've got a busy afternoon.”

Te Ao Māori News reporter Taroi Black with Nanny Te Okeroa and kaimahi at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae. 

Nanny Te Okeroa learned to manaaki as a  ringawera for Waahi Pā. There she served the late Dame Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu by working in the wharekai serving guests from all over. This gave Te Okeroa, the foundation she needed as she took on this kaupapa five years ago.

“City Mission has been fabulous supporting us with all the food parcels and even Kiwi Harvest we've got a relationship with them which we've had for two years.

Te Ao Māori News asked Te Okeroa what the future had in store for her.

“I'll be here for the next Christmas, I'll be around for a while.”