Queensland is home to the largest diaspora of Māori and Pasifika peoples in Australia. They form an understudied population concerning experiences and challenges of food insecurity. This community co-designed research aims to explore the conceptualization of household food security by Māori and Pasifika peoples living in south-east Queensland. Participatory action research and talanoa were used to collect and analyse forty interviews with leaders representing 22 Māori and Pasifika cultural identities in south-east Queensland. Eight key themes emerged that conceptualise food security as an integral part of the culture and holistic health. These themes included: spirituality, identity, hospitality and reciprocity, stigma and shame, expectations and obligations, physical and mental health and barriers and solutions. Addressing food insecurity for collectivist cultures such as Māori and Pasifika peoples requires embracing food sovereignty approaches for improved food security through the co-design of practical solutions that impact social determinants and strengthen existing networks to produce and distribute affordable and nutritious food.
Keywords: Melanesian; Micronesian; Māori; Pacific Islands; Polynesian; culture; food security; food sovereignty; monitoring.