Hone’s crew keeps the volunteers fed

Feeding the masses: Hone Mutu

Volunteers at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa national waka ama sprint champs at Lake Karāpiro work hard for long hours but are always assured of a decent feed thanks to the tireless work of Hone Mutu and his team.

For 12 years Hone has been feeding the volunteers and VIPs at the event, which attracts thousands of paddlers and tens of thousands of fans every year.

After starting out as a volunteer, Hone decided he and his team of whānau and friends could make a better contribution by making sure the volunteers were well fed.

“We thought the best way we could help was to ensure they have a good breakfast in the morning and a beautiful dinner at night and so we’ve stuck to that principal,” he says.

On the menu this year has been a range of dishes including beef Wellington, lasagne, scotch fillet, glazed ham, roast pork, lamb racks and, of course, hangi.

Hone – who lives at Waimate North – says the event is a good time for his whānau to catch up with each other and they come from around the country to help out at Karāpiro.

Catering for crowds is something his whānau is used to, he says.

It was a whānau decision to take on the catering contract 12 years ago and there was never any intention of making money out of it.

“If we wanted to make money we’d be having mince and whatever else every night, that sort of food, but we choose not to go down that path and instead to give them the best quality that we possibly could,” he says.

“Our thing has always been manaaki and so all the kai that we have in the VIP area, we don’t charge for. We supply the VIPs their morning teas and lunch so that’s our koha to Tainui because they’re looking after all the VIPs down there. I’ve never charged for that or for the pōwhiri kai because I’m not happy to charge for what is a tikanga thing, that’s our koha back to Waka Ama.”

His crew feed more than 70 people each morning and evening during the week and he says it’s something they love doing.

“I guess that’s our passion, me manaaki te tangata ahakoa ko wai no hea, me tika te tiaki i a ratou. For all the work that they do the least we can do is provide them a nice kai and we hope that we provide that.

More Recent News

News …… in brief

Five die in crash Five people have died following a head-on crash on State Highway 3/Ōhaupō Road last night. Emergency services were called to the scene just before 4:45pm. Police say three occupants of one…

Council critic in fatal crash

When it came to local body matters, he was a gamekeeper turned poacher. James Parlane, who died in a two-vehicle crash near Ōhaupō last Friday, was a former lawyer and Waipā district councillor who frequently…

News ….. in brief

27 May 10.42am Police have named the man who died following a crash on SH3, Ōhaupō on Friday as James Charles Parlane, 61, of Te Awamutu. Parlane is a former Waipa councillor who stood unsucessfully…

Scammers hack invoices

Police are urging King Country people to check bank details provided on invoices they receive by email after an Ōtorohanga business lost $11,000 to a scam. Hackers gained access to the business’s computer systems and…