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Nestlé Cook for Life and Mangere Moutain Education Centre Partnership


Nestlé Cook for Life - Ka Tunu Ka Ora, has partnered with Mangere Mountain Education Centre (MMEC) with the aim of delivering a unique, interactive daylong workshop to over 750 secondary school students across Auckland this year.

MMEC is a community and educational hub that offers schools an educational programme on ancient Māori heritage, cultivation and harvesting on Mangere Mountain as well as learning about the science of agriculture in their three communal gardens.

The partnership with Nestlé Cook for Life provides the final tier to MMEC’s existing programme; where students can apply their newly found knowledge to cook and create healthy affordable family meals that include traditional Maori food crops they have collected from the nutrient rich soils of the communal gardens. 

At the end of the module, students will get to share and enjoy the healthy meal they learned how to cook. The interactive programme, led by MMEC team members and volunteers,’ educates secondary school students on how heritage crops, derived from the original plants Māori ancestors used 18,000 years ago can be integrated into our lives today.

The introduction of the newly added Nestlé Cook for Life, Ka Tunu Ka Ora module is a major asset to the programme given that it provides everything needed to give students a high-quality, tangible lesson on nutrition and cooking. Students will leave MMEC with newfound skills and an appreciation for the connection between the land and their wellbeing.

Mangere Mountain Education Centre CEO, Simon Kozak, recognises the significance this new partnership brings.

“At MMEC our core values revolve around curating the landscape and engaging, educating and serving our communities. The Nestlé CFL module raises our existing programme to another level, giving our iwi leaders and tutors the skills, ideas and resources to teach important cooking skills that young people and their whanau can benefit from,” he says.

Nestlé New Zealand CEO, Veronique Cremades, is looking forward to broadening the Nestlé Cook for Life programme as it allows more young people to learn vital cooking skills and nutritional knowledge that can be shared with their families and wider community.

“Small changes over time can make a big difference, especially in young adults who are still forming lifetime habits. The relationship with MMEC is the start of a bigger picture allowing us to pass the skills onto a larger group of people to ensure every New Zealander can live a healthy and active life,” she says.

Last year a pilot workshop was completed with Mangere College, 25 students participated in the full day event and learnt about New Zealand’s Maori heritage and how easy it was to be confident in the kitchen.

Mangere College Principal, Tom Webb says there is a real need for today’s children to not only hear about healthy eating but also learn how to practically apply that, in an easy and affordable way.

“Unfortunately children find it easier to go and grab takeaways from the corner store because they lack the skills and confidence to prepare a meal in the kitchen for themselves. MMEC and Nestlé CFL’s workshop links the strong cultural heritage of Maori harvesting while building their confidence through education and guided practice,” he says.

Mangere Mountain Education Centre is asking schools to express their interest in joining workshops during the first term of 2017. These workshops will be the first time the Nestlé Cook for Life, Ka Tuna Ka Ora module will be offered to schools as part of the MMEC experience. To register interest or to find out more information please contact: (09) 634 7305 or email [email protected].