Schnappa Rock owner, Nick Keene, hosted the hui and talked to the group about the hospitality sector, how CTT’s ethos aligns with his business and what the three projects would mean to him.
Spend your pay in Whangārei
Nick talked about how Schnappa Rock focuses on purchasing products from ever increasing circles. Whatever they can source locally, they do - even if it comes at a higher price. For example, fish can be purchased from overseas companies that is blast frozen and sold at a lower price. Schnappa Rock only purchases area one line caught fish and locally supplied kai moana (seafood). This is putting the money back into the local economy and recognises the importance of the environment for the long-term success of the business! Valuing the environment emanates through all aspects of the business because Tai Tokerau’s pristine environment is special – once you have lost it, you cannot get it back (as other regions have experienced).
Whakapapa of the food
Nick talked about his businesses investment in creating a produce garden to insulate the business from supply disruptions (which have only increased since starting the garden) to the coastal area of Tutukaka and inflationary prices of food. More than just making good business sense, the garden now has two full time staff who were unemployed and are now thriving! It is about valuing the holistic nature of the people, the land and the food which Schnappa Rock does so well!
For Nick, CTT is about aligning with likeminded people and working on the projects to move toward a stronger, more self-sustaining region. For example, referring tourists to other producers and providers in different parts of the region to keep them here a day or two longer, showcasing the uniqueness of Tai Tokerau through food and experiences.
Moving forward, the only way to sustain the lifestyle of producers and providers is by building the whakapapa of the food into the story.