Over $1.35 million funding for Northland whenua Māori

Published: Nov 13, 2020

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  • Northland/Te Tai Tokerau

The government will invest just over $1.35 million on two initiatives that will raise the economic returns from whenua Māori in Northland and create jobs.

Kaianuku Whenua Māori Organic Co-operative will receive a $513,000.00 grant, plus a $312,000.00 loan to establish an underutilised land block as a prototype of a productive and sustainable organic farm in Northland. Additionally, an organic growers cooperative will be established to market the fruit and vegetables produced for the domestic market.

At least eight jobs will be established on the land and at the cooperative and job numbers are expected to grow as other land blocks join the initiative in the future.

The land block to be developed is Te Waerenga’s Motatau 2 Section 49A4F, south of Kawakawa. The land has had no activity on it for over 10 years but was relatively tidy and able to start organic fruit and vegetable production quickly.  

The block will utilise permaculture farming practices to maximise production yield and utilise tunnel houses to extend seasons to ensure all year production.  Organic processes and systems will be used from day one to achieve organic certification quickly and BioGro certification by year 3.

The He Puna Marama Charitable Trust (HPMT) will receive the funding from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to oversee the project, including the establishment of the organic produce cooperative. The Trust co-ordinate work on the land block, pursue supply contracts and provide training and development opportunities. The Trust has spent the past two years establishing relationships with produce buyers. The cooperative has also identified more Māori land owners keen to establish their land blocks as organic farms.

The Proprietors of Matauri X Incorporation will receive $527,250.00 to replace the freshwater system on their land at Matauri Bay Holiday Park.

This funding will provide a sustainable water supply and enable the park to maintain the jobs at the campsite and at a recently established native plant nursery on the land.

The existing water system needs to be replaced as it has become run down. It was installed prior to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) coming into effect, meaning the water is currently unconsented and untreated.

Five workers will be employed to design and construct the water system, which will maintain the long-term sustainability of existing jobs at the holiday park and the plant nursery.

PGF funding will be used for the design and construction of the new water system that is compliant with RMA requirements.

Matauri X Incorporation was established in 1966 when 19 land blocks were amalgamated.