May 22, 2022

Reimagining Te Puna Market for fresh, affordable kai

Launching just six weeks before the first Covid-19 lockdown, Henderson’s Te Puna Market has faced the ups and downs of trading under Covid restrictions.  Now, more than two years later, organisers are embarking on a community engagement process to help reimagine the market to meet local needs.

Te Puna Market was launched by Kai West, a collective of organisations embedded in the West Auckland community with a shared kaupapa of strengthening local food systems to increase food security and resilience. Current membership includes Healthy Families Waitākere, Fair Food, Garden 2 Table, WEST, MPHS, Massey Matters, EcoMatters and Community Waitākere.

Since its first market in February 2020, Te Puna has had to adapt to the changing environment and Covid-related restrictions, including moving to a click and collect service during lockdown, explains Healthy Families Waitākere Systems Innovator Megan Beard.

“Te Puna market has had to evolve to meet changing needs, particularly over the challenging period of Covid-19.  We are now excited to be moving into a process of redesigning the market with a small group of vendors/stakeholders, considering future options for how we utilise this space and how we offer local goods.

“It has undoubtedly been a tough couple of years in which to launch a market and with the ongoing uncertainty due to Covid, we need to ensure that the format remains nimble and able to weather the stops and starts that a pandemic brings.  We have plenty of learnings from both the physical market and the click and collect model – the focus now is to take the best from both versions to help us design an improved model,” adds Megan.

The next phase will see the project team take a number of ideas out to the community for their feedback before carrying out a three-month testing period. 

“As always, access to fresh, local, affordable food together with preventing food waste and shortening the supply chain is the primary motivation of the design as well as community-building for Henderson,” explains Megan.

Te Puna Market is funded by Panuku Development Auckland and is currently operating as a click and collect service.  Support local growers and makers by pre-ordering every week from Sunday through to 8pm Thursday and collect from the Falls Carpark on Saturday morning.