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Client Shout Out – Koha Kai

Client Shout Out – Koha Kai

Local charitable trust, Koha Kai have been making some big changes lately and were also the proud recipients of the Not For Profit Award at the recent Southland Business Awards for their achievements.

Koha Kai was formed in founder Janice Lee’s garage in 2014 with aspirations to ‘Encourage a life of purpose’ for those in Murihiku (Southland) who live with disabilities. They are a multi-award-winning charitable trust focused on creating social change through meaningful employment and education. Koha Kai offer three main services – a hospitality and horticulture teaching programme, commercial catering, and partnering with primary schools to provide healthy lunch options. There has been many exciting achievements for the team in recent months.

During the recent Southland Business Awards they were the very proud recipients of the Not For Profit Award. In regard to receiving the award, general manager Amber-Jade Brass said “What a huge acknowledgment to our Kaiawhina, the mahi they do and overall, an exciting achievement for all Trainees, many of whom we now employ and enjoy at the very least current living wage rates”.

New Zealand current affairs show, Seven Sharp, first did a segment on Koha Kai six years ago. Recently they returned to provide updates on what Janice and the team are up

to now. Amber-Jade said that “our team put on a hell of a show and worked their magic for the cameras”. A fantastic recognition for the achievements of Koha Kai.

In recent weeks they have secured a new HQ at 25 Gala Street where they are looking forward to making new memories and taking on a new chapter for the team after being at Elmwood. They also obtained another space on East Road in collaboration with Idea Services. While they have maintained the tunnel houses for few years, they are now able to utilise the old “day base” for a Training Programme where new trainees will be able to learn how to cook for themselves in a home style kitchen before moving on to the commercial space in the new HQ.

For now, while they find their feet in a new space, set up office spaces and undergo kitchen renovations, they are in full swing to support those throughout Murihiku who are in immediate need due to COVID-19 isolation. Koha Kai have achieved big things for those living in our community with disabilities and continue to be a valuable asset to the community.

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