Whenua Warrior was founded in 2017 by Kelly Francis who one day, while working at her corporate job, came to the realisation that the food systems in needed to change in order to address food insecurity and promote food sovereignty in Aotearoa.

The way Kelly envisioned this happening was to reflect on the solutions of our tupuna and bring them forth to solve the social issues we face today.

Soon after Kelly then made it her mission to grow an edible garden accessible to every New Zealander. In doing so, Kelly had dreamt that she would feed the community, teach the community to feed themselves, and empower them to feed each other.

The first project Kelly undertook in that year was the establishment of 132 gardens over 2 days with whanau across South Auckland, her homeground. As the demand for more projects followed, in early 2018 Kelly with the support of friends who shared her vision established the Whenua Warrior Charitable Trust. The Charitable Trust was formed to create capacity to respond to the demand for more Whenua Warrior projects and to receive funding support.

Since, we have worked on hundreds of projects across Aotearoa and as a result, the demand for projects rise and the number of Whenua Warriors increases.

We are a Charitable Trust Board made up of Whenua Warriors who are committed to growing kaitiaki to protect taonga tuku iho. Our mission is to nourish communities and nurture connectedness through kaitiakitanga. We work to empower people and communities to increase the availability and cultivation of kai based on huaparakore principles and matauranga maori to encourage self-reliance and self-sustaining practices that contribute to indigenous food security and food sovereignty in Aotearoa. 

Whenua Warrior specialises in mahinga kai, community engagement, environmental conservation and preservation. We work collectively with whanau, hapu, marae, iwi, schools, community groups, and agencies to achieve our vision and mission. 

Whenua Warrior is a not for profit organisation that receives no Government funding and relies on generous donations, grants and funding support, fundraisers, and volunteers. Any profits made through our active workstreams go directly into our active and aspiring Mauri Projects which are targeted at vulnerable communities and the restoration of our natural resources.