Young Māori mother of 3 feeds Flaxmere

By Aroha Mane

Sharnita Harmer from Ngāti Kahungunu is on a mission to uplift the name of her home town of Flaxmere and promote better living. The young entrepreneur opened her very own food truck earlier this week and hopes to entice the taste buds of the Hawkes Bay community.

“I'm nervous but I love it. Without the people it wouldn't happen,” says Harner.

At just 24-years-old Sharnita Harmer has moved from being a benefit dependant to being independent through better living. Now she owns her very own food truck.

“What I did was I came up with the food truck and healthy kai truck called "What Chu need" and the focus was on well-being and providing health kai.”

Sharnita's menu serves smoothies, salads, wraps and chia pots. Today’s customers had nothing but positive feedback.

“Absolutely perfect because our Māori people have been told we have high obesity.”

“I think this is a massive thing for our community, healthy kai, healthy living, that's what we're all about.”

“I like my mum's truck, the food is yum and I feel happy.”

Regardless of the challenges she's persevered and encourages other young Māori wāhine to chase their dreams.

“Get out there and get it, stop wasting time, we have 86,400 minutes in a day,” says Harner.

Her motto is to create food that fills you up but doesn't weigh you down.