In every small town and region, you’ll find the people who are champions, people who see the potential of reaching out, networking and collaborating to tell a unique story. Lauraine Jacobs is one of them. The build of a family beach house at Omaha in 2002 marked the start of a love affair with the Matakana district. Then, as fledgling cafés, accommodation offerings and the (now much-loved) Matakana Farmers’ Market were starting to take shape, Lauraine was in the thick of it, becoming a strong advocate for local growers, producers, wineries and artisanal food makers.

In 2008 she published the book Matakana to celebrate the food heroes who were making it all happen, and since then the district has gone from strength to strength. Now a popular destination for weekend getaways, the local food and drink scene is bursting with talent – so much talent that a new book on the region is in order.

Beautifully portrayed through the eyes of photographer Ken Downie, It Takes a Village gives us a close look at the new heroes who champion sustainability and ethical lifestyles while providing great food and drink for residents and visitors alike. Along the way, you’ll pick up everything you’ll need to know about the region, plus some sensational recipes that showcase the delicious flavours of Matakana. And who better than one of New Zealand’s best-known and loved food writers to let us in on the secrets that only the locals know? Grab a copy while you can, and plan a trip to celebrate and support the people who are making Matakana an exciting destination for food and drink lovers. KELLI BRETT