Horticultural programme to provide new opportunities for Ngāti Hauā

The Government is partnering with Ngāti Hauā Iwi Trust to develop a horticultural programme that will empower Ngāti Hauā whānau to upskill, diversify their businesses and sustainably generate wealth from their land.

The Waikato-based iwi has received $1.12 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund and $150,000 from the Ministry for Social Development. Te Waharoa Investments Limited, the commercial arm of Ngāti Hauā Iwi Trust, is co-investing a further $775,000.

“The three year Peria Horticultural programme will help Ngāti Hauā Iwi Land Trust and landowners’ businesses to flourish by developing an education hub and trialling high-value crops,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“Ngati Haua have a 10 year goal to create 129 jobs and generate $25 million in earnings per annum. This SFF Futures funding will set a strong foundation for them to achieve this.”

A feature of the programme will be the development and implementation of Ngāti Hauā’s mātauranga Māori principles, called the Peria Standard.

“The Peria Standard is inspired by the vision of Wiremu Tamehana, who established Peria Village in 1846.This village bridged the gap between Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākehā knowledge systems and values,” Damien O’Connor said.

“Fast-forwarding 176 years, the Peria Horticultural programme aims to revive this concept as they diversify from the likes of blueberries into other high value crops. In doing so they’ll draw on support from some of our top specialists, including from Plant & Food Research, AgResearch, StartaFresh, Landcare, and AsureQuality.”

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the programme would help weave stronger communities.

“This new programme aims to see the Ngāti Hauā people and environment thrive. It will bring new educational and employment opportunities to the region, boost the local economy, and transform the region’s land,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Damien O’Connor said this programme aligns with the Government’s 10-year food and fibre sector roadmap, Fit for a Better World.

“We are focussed on our economic recovery from COVID-19. By strengthening the environmental credentials of our food and fibre products and capturing further value growth Fit for a Better World drives us along that recovery.” 

SFF Futures has now invested $125.8 million alongside a total co-investment with partners of $276.1 million across 156 projects.

Source:  Minister of Agriculture

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog