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Wintec | Te Pūkenga Culinary Arts students cook up a storm to support flood-affected network colleagues

Wintec | Te Pūkenga kaimahi and ākonga sold 120 meals in an hour, raising $1200 to help their Te Pūkenga network colleagues at EIT in Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.  

With the devastation following Cyclone Gabrielle, Barry Finch, Senior Academic Staff Member at the Wintec | Te Pūkenga Centre for Trades, wanted to do something to help our Te Pūkenga network colleagues at Eastern Institute of Technology, who have been severely impacted by the floods. 

Barry, along with Academic Staff Member Mark Hollands and his team of year two Culinary Arts students, cooked up an idea to raise funds while also giving the students a real-life catering experience. The team decided to create an Indian banquet to sell to the staff and students for lunch at the Rotokauri Campus on Friday.

Barry took the idea to Team Manager Peter Skelton, who was hungry to get involved and help our less fortunate colleagues in the East, pulling together a team to make it all happen. They reached out to suppliers and managed to get Chef Ready Meats on board, who provided a generous product donation. They even shifted classes around to make it all work so they could catch the lunchtime crowd on Friday. 

After lots of planning, the kaimahi and ākonga cooked up a storm on Friday, with a banquet of butter chicken, vegetable korma, rice pilau and roti bread, all topped off with yoghurt raita and pickle.  

“The banquets went down a treat, especially with our trades students who are always up for a good hearty meal. Some people bought kai for their entire whānau, taking home the meals to enjoy for Friday night dinner.  

“We sold around 120 meals, selling out of food in an hour, and raising around $1200 to support our Te Pūkenga colleagues in Gisborne who have been affected by the floods themselves and have also been participating in a community kitchen project feeding people in the local community for breakfast, lunch and dinner themselves,” said Hospitality Team Manager Peter Skelton. 

After consultation with leadership at EIT, it was decided that the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne Mayoral Flood Relief Funds were the best channel to donate the funds through, so the money was distributed to where it was needed most.  

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