Book celebrates kai and connection in Queenstown Lakes

Nov 08, 2023

Part recipe book, part story sharing, a book being launched in the district this week celebrates the way food can bring a community together.

People will be able to get their hands on a copy of ‘Our Community Kai Story – Tales of food, people and connection across Queenstown Lakes’ at special events being held in Queenstown this week, and Wānaka next.

The book has been a Queenstown Lakes District Council-led project, created as a tribute to the local community as a way to celebrate the district’s collective resilience following the effect of the global pandemic.

"It shares stories to honour where we’ve come from, to give thanks to our communities and to look forward with a sense of renewal and hope," the council says in a statement this week announcing its launch.

Contributions from more than 25 people that live in the district are included in the finished product, which is fill of recipes and personal food memories.

Some of the stories provide local knowledge about how to grow, gather and care for natural resources.

QLDC community partnerships manager Marie Day says it has been a collaborative effort over many months. 

“It was really fulfilling to work on a project that reflects our diversity and celebrates how passionate people are about sharing food in our place. We are really excited to share this with everyone involved and the wider community.”

She says food is more than just a basic essential - it is also a vital way people connect with others.

“We use it to welcome friends and newcomers, to celebrate important events, and to show manaaki (respect, generosity and care).”

QLDC resilience and climate action manager Bill Nicoll says the development of the book supports the council’s work to improve the resilience of the local food system as a key action in the Queenstown Lakes Climate and Biodiversity Plan.

“We know that our local food system is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and major natural disaster events. That’s why council is working in partnership with a wide range of organisations and community leaders across the district to develop a food resilience roadmap. This book celebrates the amazing progress being made and helps tell the story of how we can all contribute to a shared vision of a resilient, low-carbon, local food system.”

Book launches are set for Frankton Library this Thursday (November 9) and Wānaka Community Hub next Thursday (November 16).

Anyone interested in attending is asked to register in advance for catering purposes on the QLDC Facebook page at

'Our Community Kai Story' will be available to purchase at both events for $20 each or at a reduced price of $15 each for multiple copies. They will also be available to purchase from mid-November at council offices in Queenstown and Wānaka, Paetara Aspiring Central, Wānaka Recreation Centre, Te Atamira (Frankton) and Queenstown, Frankton and Wānaka Libraries. 

All proceeds will be donated to KiwiHarvest, a local food rescue organisation dedicated to preventing good food from ending up in waste.

Main image: QLDC

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux