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Turia commends Nga Rauru innovation

Turia commends Nga Rauru innovation

A tribal development scheme, based on commercial horticulture and production of herbal remedies, was described by Associate Minister of Maori Affairs Tariana Turia as a great example of innovative business based on Maori knowledge.

Tariana Turia was visiting Nga Rauru’s Nutriceuticals developments, based on marae in the Nga Rauru rohe in south Taranaki, as part of Smart Growth Day.

Nga Rauru’s scheme involves three business units. The first is growing tomatoes and peppers in a glasshouse next to Waioturi marae, to develop the hapu’s horticultural expertise and management systems.

A second business unit involves setting up native plant nurseries on marae, in part to support the third business, which is a joint venture with the NZ Institute for Crop and Food Research to research commercial production and marketing of herbal remedies.

“This scheme is an excellent example of hapu development,” said Tariana Turia.

“It draws on the people’s traditional knowledge of native plants and rongoa Maori, and it provides them with entry to the nutriceutical industry, which is something new to most of our people.”

“It provides local employment and training, and a focus for hapu organisation and business development. It is a flexible scheme – marae can join in as they wish, to expand the businesses gradually.

“By basing the projects on marae, it has been possible to upgrade existing facilities for less cost than building something new. The schemes will also help to draw the people to their marae.

“I congratulate Nga Rauru on their innovative and enterprising approach to development, and wish them all the best with their projects,” she said.

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