Kono for Kai – Benita Wakefield, Chelita Kahutianui Zainey, Amiria Kiddle & Julia Fenn

Kono for Kai

The central city of Ōtautahi/Christchurch has long been a historic site for the connection of people for the purpose of exchanging and trading kai/food, as well as hand-crafted goods, created from the many natural resources found in the surrounding areas.

The KONO FOR KAI  project interweaves the key values of

  • Kaitiakitanga – guardianship and sustainability
  • Manaakitanga – inviting others to engage in the open act of koha, to give and receive unconditionally what one can in an open act of reciprocity
  • Whakawhanaungatanga- Weaving and interconnecting the many strands of our communities into a whariki of oneness

One hundred hand-woven harakeke kono or small food baskets, filled with native plant seedlings and seeds will be available to the public in exchange for a KOHA of kai (non-perishable goods only please).  If you forget your kai, a koha of money will also be welcomed.

This koha will then be distributed to communities in need via Rehua Marae.


Benita Wakefield


Benita has whakapapa (genealogy) links to Ngati Irakehu, Ngai Tahu and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi.  Her passion for raranga (weaving) comes through her whanau – mum and nannies. Over the years Benita has been teaching raranga and also encouraging the care of the whenua (land) and taonga tuku iho (treasures).  This is to ensure that mokopuna (grandchildren) and people with a desire to learn raranga will have access to healthy harakeke (varieties of flax) and continue the traditions passed down from our tipuna (ancestors).

Chelita Kahuitanui Zainey (Ngāpuhi/Waikato/Waitaha/Ngāti Kahu)


Chelita currently resides in Wairewa/Little River with her 3 year old son where she runs her traditional Maori healing (Mirimiri) practice and creates her Rongoā Māori infused line of products under the name of Manaaki Mama.

Her focus is on teaching, empowering and activating others into embracing the ‘taonga toku iho’ or traditional gifts left to us by our tupuna/ancestors.

Amiria Kiddle (Ngāti Porou/Ngāpuhi)

Architectural Graduate/Designer

Amiria was born in Heretaunga and grew up on an apple orchard there, near the Tukituki River. In 1999 she moved to Ruatoria to attend Ngata college for her final year of highschool.

In 2006 she graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) from Victoria University in Wellington and has since worked in Gisborne, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Auckland and Christchurch, as well as spending time traveling in South America and Europe

For the last five years, Amiria has been working in post-earthquake Christchurch, and has also been involved in transitional projects as part of the Festival of Transitional Architecture.

Within the architectural field Amiria has a particular interest in using a transitional design approach to test how Māori identity can be expressed and celebrated in an urban context. She is also currently exploring the relationship between craft, architecture and identity.

Julia Fenn

Julia is a multi-disciplinary designer born and raised in Christchurch. Having experienced the earthquakes and subsequently moving to Wellington, she returned in 2015 having completed an honours degree in Spatial Design at Massey University where she researched and explored the role of sensory memory and education through spatial design following post-traumatic stress.

She has been involved in the spatial rebuilds of her hometown, both architecturally and through event design, graphic design and hosting workshops. She is fundamentally interested in communicating, teaching and exploring the overlay of the spaces we live in and the resonance of them we experience in our mind and body. She challenges us to become aware of our sensory capacity, to activate and understand our sensory memory and potential and improve our states of being through design, awareness, healing and sensory learning


Date: September 16, 2018