PGF funds Māori flax and farm business
Published: Jun 15, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is supporting the Ruahuihui Ahu Whenua Trust in the Manawatu-Whanganui region with funding of $210,000 to turn their under-used land block into an economically viable business.
The Trust is a small family business with big plans to transform their underproductive, undeveloped Māori freehold land into an organic sheep and beef farm, with a nursery specialising in growing native species, including harakeke (native flax) on the property as well as offsite.
The funding will help move the farm to an economic scale of production, starting with remediation work including new fencing, fertiliser treatments, water troughs and cattle yard repair work.
After seeking external expert advice the Trustees worked with advisors from Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Primary Industries to develop the plans for the farm.
This is an example of the PGF supporting a Māori owned business which would probably not be able to access funding from more traditional sources.
The PGF’s $100 million Whenua Māori fund was announced in February last year and is helping address years of under-investment for Māori landowners, particularly in New Zealand’s regions.
Investing in regional Māori land raises the wellbeing of the direct recipients as well as their immediate whanau, hapū and iwi. This in turn contributes to growing the regional economy.