Māori development projects to receive Provincial Growth Fund funding

Published: Oct 16, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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  • News and announcements
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne/Tairāwhiti

Seven Māori development projects based in both the Bay of Plenty and Tairāwhiti are set to receive nearly $5 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support to help grow their manuka plantation, blueberry and kiwifruit orchards.

Fresh blueberries

Blueberries increase revenue hopes for Māori

Hamiora Whanau Trust will receive up to $1,278,120 as a Whenua Māori loan to help the Trust expand their pilot covered blue berry orchard on Matakana Island from 2ha to 5ha with a view to future expansion to 10ha. It will also assist with land preparation, tunnel house construction, nursery plan stock and the purchasing of post-harvest technology including a chiller, chiller truck, generator, sprayer and harvest scales required to harvest this years (and future) crops.

This application follows on from an earlier feasibility study (2018) to develop 2ha covered blueberry orchard on Matakana Island. The test orchard of 2 ha is not economically viable and by increasing it to 5ha it creates a sustainable operation.

It will generate value for the Māori freehold landowners that would not otherwise occur and result in better use of underutilised land and a significant increase in revenue per hectare.

The project creates approximately six temporary construction roles five permanent positions on the farm and 12 seasonal employment opportunities once the berry plants are at full yield.

Wai o Te Hau GP Ltd will receive a $500,000 grant to develop a pilot blueberry orchard on 1 hectare of whenua Māori near Waiohau, Bay of Plenty. If successful they plan to expand to a bigger 10 hectare operation. Wai o te Hau hope to expand the blueberry orchard in two stages over five years. Stage one for the pilot orchard will create five short term construction jobs and one full time role.

This project unlocks the potential of under-utilised Māori land, provides greater employment in a remote region and increases the productivity per hectare of the land.

The pilot orchard will help test if the conditions including frosty conditions and access to water will be favourable enough to growing blueberries successfully.

The Tairāwhiti Manuka Plantation projects will receive a total of $3,133,162 which incorporates $2.183 million for five Whenua Māori grants to The Trustees of Tokata Blocks 8, 9, 10, 11 Trusts and The Trustees of Pakihikura A2 Trust and a $950,000 commercial loan to Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

The Tairāwhiti Manuka plantation development involves grants for land, preparation and plantation of manuka on five Whenua Māori land blocks so they can supply manuka to Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Ltd will expand their commercial manuka oil processing plant operations in Te Araroa on the East Cape.

The project aligns with PGF Whenua Maori principles, can commence within PGF timeframes, increases returns, creates employment and has good regional support.

Immediate construction can commence on the TPL processing plant. Each land block will require land preparation, planting and maintenance. There will be 14 positions across all the projects.

In addition to the 14 construction jobs the projects collectively will create 20 FTE over the next four years.

Bay of Plenty

ProjectRecipientAmountProject description
Hamiora Whanau blueberry expansion - Matakana Island  Hamiora Whanau Trust $1,278,120 Whenua Māori loan The Hamiora Whanau Trust (HWT) are expanding their pilot covered blue berry orchard on Matakana Island from 2ha to 5ha and purchasing post-harvest technology required to harvest crops.

Later stages will see further expansion to 10ha.

Wai o te Hau development  Wai o te Hau GP Ltd $500,000 A five year development project to establish a blueberry orchard.


Tairāwhiti Manuka Planation project

This incorporates five similar Whenua Māori grants and one Commercial Loan by Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TPL) which is located 175km north of Gisborne. This investment will develop five East cape land blocks into five accessible mechanically harvested manuka plantations so they can produce and supply manuka oil to supply Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TPL) who are receiving a commercial loan to expand their operations.

ProjectRecipientAmountProject description
Tairāwhiti Manuka Plantation Sophie Te Ngahue and Patricia Te Ngahue $217,566 Develop 8.5 ha into Manuka plantation.
Tairāwhiti Manuka Plantation Tokata B8 Trust $382,320 Develop 13.5 ha into Manuka plantation.
Tairāwhiti Manuka Plantation Tokata B10 Trust $325,230 Develop 11.7 ha into Manuka plantation.
Tairāwhiti Manuka Plantation Te Whanau a Horowai Trust $295,165 Develop 12 ha into Manuka plantation.
Tairāwhiti Manuka Plantation Pakihikura A2Trust $962,881 Develop 42.5 ha into Manuka plantation.
Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Commercial Loan Application Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals Limited (TPL) $950,000 loan To expand the existing processing plant, purchase and install plant and equipment and make improvements to the customer centre.