Taranaki’s regional development agency, Venture Taranaki, will host its fourth branching out event this Thursday, November 18th, exploring hemp fibers and the opportunities for future-oriented sustainable hemp constructions and value-added products.
At the sold out event, players in the construction industry, architects and property developers will hear from experts who will present the possibility of hemp cultivation for the region. The speakers will explain the benefits of using hemp fiber as a carbon neutral building material and highlight the opportunities for value-adding building products and the prerequisites for a Taranaki hemp fiber industry. Finally, how interested parties can get involved while understanding the practicalities and challenges.
“It’s fantastic that we can bring together speakers from the hemp industry to explore and highlight the opportunity, especially for our construction industry here in Taranaki. There is an opportunity to shed light on future-oriented sustainable hemp cultivation and value development – adding products while leveraging the extensive knowledge and expertise already available in the region, “explains Justine Gilliland, Chief Executive of Venture Taranaki.
“We know we can grow hemp here in Taranaki. The challenge was what we can do with it, what adds value. The construction helps deliver that piece of the puzzle, ”adds Justine.
After the Branching Out Hemp Event, a new Pātaka Kai will be built from hemp fibers or hemp concrete in the Marfell Community Garden. The new hemp-pātaka-quay will replace an existing quay cabinet, in which the products grown in the garden as well as food donations are stored.
“The construction of the new Pātaka Kai in Marfell is a great opportunity to demonstrate the use of hemp concrete in a real building environment following the event on Thursday and at the same time to give the community a Tāonga, which will be widespread,” says Justine.
“The Marfell Community Garden was founded a year ago but has already become a place to connect whānau, community groups and schools. The goal of quay resilience in Marfell means that we want everyone to have access to fresh and healthy Vegetables. The Marfell community should be proud of how much has already been achieved in just one year, “says Urs Signer of Sustainable Taranaki.
Andrew French, board member of Marfell Community Garden, agrees, adding: “The community garden is a place that connects the community and contributes to the preservation and care of Papatūānuku, the earth that sustains us. It is a garden, but also a place to exchange knowledge, and to get to know the people in our Hāpori, it is like a village square. Hemp concrete is a material that fits perfectly with the values of the Māra, it will be safe from pests in strong winds and help ensure that the food has a longer shelf life. “
Venture Taranaki supported the hemp pātaka kai construction in collaboration with Sustainable Taranaki and local Matt Low, a hemp concrete homeowner and one of the speakers at the Branching Out with Hemp Fiber Construction event.
Venture Taranaki recognizes Troy Tawhio of Tawhio and Mcleod Builders who provided in-kind construction work, the amazing work of the Hāpai Mana Māori Mums group that donated the original Pātaka Kai, and the Taranaki Retreat and its food rescue program. With special mention Taiao and Te Raumahora Hema, coordinators of the Marfell Pātaka Kai, who donated two fridge-freezers and sometimes distribute cold and frozen Kai from their own port.
The public is cordially invited to watch the construction of the new hemp-pātaka-wharf in the Marfell Community Garden on Saturday, November 20th from 9 a.m.
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