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Kaumatua launch Maori-designed cookie cutters

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Entrepreneurial kaumātua are changing the face of cookie cutters with a homegrown twist.

Rauawaawa Kaumātua Charitable Trust (RKCT) is launching three Kuki Reka Kani (Māori-designed cookie cutters), lovingly named and inspired by its kaumātua, at its facility in Frankton, Hamilton, today.

RCKT chairperson, Owen Purcell says the enterprising kaumātua are extremely proud to celebrate a product they not only inspired but helped shape - in the form of pāua (abalone), pikorua (single twist) and kete (basket).

"I’m certain they’ll now want to do much more in the innovation area, and our job at Rauawaawa is to create an environment which supports them to do just that," he says.

The kaumātua came up with the idea to use Māori designs in food products as part of a Whanāu Ora innovation project, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local company, MWD Designs Ltd, created drawings for the kaumātua to give feedback on and they eventually settled on three designs, which were put to the test by Rauawaawa’s own chef. A few tweaks later, followed by the disruption of COVID-19, and a further trial of the prototypes by two extra cooks, the kaumātua are now excited to showcase their cookie cutters to the rest of the world.

RCKT CEO, Rangimahora Reddy, says the kaumātua have been waiting for the launch for a long time.

"It’s a day that shows innovation knows no age limit, and amazing opportunities occur when kaumātua are supported to innovate, showcase and share their matauranga," she says.

"We’re very blessed to have these cutters created and manufactured right here in the Waikato. Our kaumātua were determined that post COVID-19, we had to support our local community, even if it meant costs would be higher than sourcing them from offshore.

"Another request was there had to be rangatahi involved, and currently we have a team of 10 supporting social enterprise activities. This ensures that kaumātua of today and tomorrow are connected on an aspirational kaupapa. This is exciting for us, and I can only imagine what amazing things may be created when their remarkable minds work together," says Rangimahora.

As part of the celebration, RKCT is offering 20% off all Kuki Reka Kani online sales today (30 November). Anyone who 'likes' the Rauawaawa Facebook page and 'shares' the launch post will go into a daily draw to win a complete set of Kuki Reka Kani, drawn at midday from Monday to Friday this week.

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