Tupuānuku food truck serves up planted-based kai to nourish health of whānau

By Mahina Hurkmans

Veganism is not often seen in Māori but Raniera Rewiri is hoping to bring more awareness to it, describing how it has links back to tīpuna Māori. He has recently opened a new food truck Tupuānuku in Whakatāne to provide vegan options for whānau. 

Raniera Rewiri says, "According to our ancestors, when Tupuānuku appears it is the best time to plant seeds to grow the foods of Papatūānuku, Rongo and Haumietiketike." 

It is from this that Rewiri's based his business Tupuānuku, to provide vegan options to the multitudes.

"I know it is hard to start off, so opening a vegan store, this will make it easier for Māori," he says.

"This seems difficult for the older generation, like my father and grandfather's generation to understand, but my main focus is for the next generations to come."  

Veganism is not often seen in Māori but Rewiri says this is something that has come from the old days. 

"This is food to nourish the body and protect the land," he says.

A large amount of the money raised for Rewiri's food truck has come from the community and all over NZ through a Givealittle page.

Fiona, a holiday-maker Te Ao spoke to, says, "I'm based in Tāmaki Makaurau and we are staying at Ohope beach. We've been following Raniera for a couple of weeks now and we knew we would be coming down here over Christmas and New Years.

"So I wanted to try some of his kai. Really love his kaupapa and wanted to give it a go."

Rewiri says his focus is to continue nourishing the health of the people and the land.