Landcorp inks agreement with iwi for Sweetwater farm in Northland
By Tina Morrison
Dec. 16 (BusinessDesk) - Landcorp Farming, New Zealand's largest corporate farmer, will continue to be involved in the management of Northland farm Sweetwater after iwi take ownership of the property under a Treaty of Waitangi settlement.
Northland iwi Te Rarawa and Ngai Takoto will take ownership of the 2,480 hectare property near Kaitaia tomorrow, as part of a 2010 settlement. Landcorp, which has been managing Sweetwater in consultation with the iwi, will continue to provide farm management expertise, livestock and technology under a new joint-management and profit-sharing arrangement, the Wellington-based state-owned enterprise said in a statement.
“This agreement deepens what has already been an excellent relationship between Landcorp and both iwi," said Landcorp chair Traci Houpapa. "Through it, we’ve created some very well-performing dairy farms and created more training and employment opportunities for Maori."
"It’s a model for a successful business partnership and we’re actively exploring more of these sorts of productive partnerships with iwi."
Landcorp owns or manages 385,086 hectares of land, 22,634 hectares of which is used for dairy. As well as Sweetwater, Landcorp farms the Te Raite property for Te Aupouri, has sharemilking operations with five iwi from the Hauraki Collective on the Pouorua complex, and leases its Opouahi farm from Maungahaururu Tangitū.
Sweetwater has developed into one of its best performing diary operations, with three dairy units running 2,800 cows, as well as a dairy support farm, it said.
Hemi Toia, general manager of Te Rarawa Investment Company, said both Te Rarawa and Ngai Takoto were taking a long-term view to developing the Sweetwater property and together with Landcorp were looking for further investment opportunities.