Whanganui food company benefits from Government funding boost

Published: Sep 30, 2020

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  • News and announcements
  • Manawatū/Whanganui

Whanganui is benefitting from Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support which will help a local food processing company increase production, create jobs and encourage productive use of Māori land.

Uncurling frond of a green fern

The Kii Tahi food factory uses native plants and other natural ingredients to create innovative new products

The Ngā Rauru-owned company Kii Tahi Limited is receiving a PGF loan of $1.2m and a $184,572 grant.

Kii Tahi produces native food ingredients, including a ready to use frozen smoothie product ‘Kaitahi’, and the funding will allow it to increase production with a new factory in Whanganui.

Construction of the new facilities will provide building jobs and, once completed, there will be six further jobs available on the production line. After five years, another shift to increase production even further would mean another six jobs.

Harvesting the ingredients for the factory to process will also provide employment.

It is estimated that there will be 25 other part-time jobs for local iwi to supply Kii Tahi with the raw products it needs for its innovative food products.

Ngā Rauru had originally planned to build the new factory in the South Taranaki town of Waverley but decided to move to Whanganui because more of the iwi’s members live there.

The iwi believes Whanganui provides greater opportunity to add benefit to its members, as well as better access to infrastructure and support businesses, such as marketing, design and packaging.

Kii Tahi occupies a unique place in the market.

It relies on native New Zealand ingredients such as kawakawa, kumara, puha and honey and the increased demand creates opportunities for iwi to harvest and supply the factory.

The company is committed to building Māori businesses, skills, employment and wellbeing through successful mainstream economic development.

To help achieve that, it is now exploring sustainable growth partnerships with individuals, whanau and marae land owners to supply the raw native ingredients from under-utilised Māori land.

The new factory will not only allow bigger batches to be produced, but also slash Kii Tahi’s carbon footprint by more than 90 percent for every six tonne production run.