Police in Waitangi help distribute donated food to local marae

Police officers dropping off donated food to Waitangi Marae.

Police assisted with a different kind of operation at Waitangi over the long weekend, helping distribute donated food to the local marae.

Countdown contributed thousands of dollars worth of food and other household items that were consumable but unable to be stocked on shelves due to damaged packaging.

Police officers who had come up from Auckland to assist with Waitangi Day operations were then roped in to help move boxes of groceries from the supermarket to Waitangi Marae.

Mere Davies, fresh foods manager at Countdown Waitangi, said the store regularly receives goods from its distribution centre with broken packaging that they give away, usually to foodbanks and churches.


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On this occasion, the store manager approached police and asked them if they would like the two pallets of goods to distribute to people in the community.

“Then they came back to us and said, ‘How about we go and donate it to the marae?’ So, it was a bit of a joint effort,” Davies said.

“They were great. They came with me, took it to the marae, unloaded the truck and took it in.”

The iwi was very appreciative of the donation, Davies said, and used some of it to feed those that were staying over the long weekend. They also had more left over to box up and distribute to people heading home or those in need.


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“They were mind-blown by the fact they had been given all of this kai.”

Police Inspector Dean Robinson said delivering the food supported the police’s purpose in delivering safe commemorations.

“It was such a cool experience for our staff to be involved,” he said.

“It provides a more cultural understanding of what’s happening here at Waitangi, and why partnering with communities and iwi is central to how we support the safety and wellbeing of our communities.”

Around 15,000 people attended this year’s festivities at Waitangi, which was a quiet one for police – no arrests were made. Waitangi Marae is located less than one kilometre from the Treaty Grounds, where annual celebrations are held.

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