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Food exports chosen for major regional development

Hon Jim Anderton Minister for Economic Development Minister for Industry and Regional Development

Hon Parekura Horomia Minister of Maori Affairs MP for Ikaroa Rawhiti

10 September 2004

Tairawhiti choose food exports for major regional development

Food exports are the focus of the latest Major Regional Initiative programme.

"The Tairawhiti region will receive $2 million from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme for a Major Regional Initiative (MRI). Currently underutilized land in the region will be developed in partnership with food producers and processing businesses to grow exports" Minister for Industry and Regional Development Jim Anderton said today.

Projects being set up include lamb finishing, sustainable farm management, natural food ingredients and development of kiwifruit orchards.

“We have food businesses in the region, looking for land to expand capacity - and we have land in need of investment. This MRI will bridge that gap and enable Tairawhiti communities and businesses to work together to take advantage of commercial opportunities offshore,” says Mr Anderton.

A key aim of NZTE’s Regional Partnership Programme is to link regional strengths with export opportunities.

An entity established by the Tairawhiti Development Taskforce - the Tairawhiti Land Development Trust - is leading the establishment of joint partnerships between land owners, (initially Maori land owners) and food processing and marketing businesses.

Parekura Horomia, Minister for Maori affairs says that export driven business success is the key to delivering economic growth to Maori and regional communities.

“The projected economic benefit of this initiative stands at $320 million over the next ten years, with more than 100,000 hectares across the region expected to directly benefit from being more aligned with export markets,” says Mr Horomia.

The Maori economy makes an important contribution to the national economy, delivering $700 million, or approximately 7.4% of New Zealand’s agricultural output.

On the most recent data available (2001), Maori commercial assets were valued at an estimated $9 billion. Of this, $4.5 billion was invested in these primary industries.

”This MRI is significant, given Maori investment in the farming, food and beverage sectors. Even a modest increase in performance can have a significant effect on the Maori and national economy. It is essential that the maximum value be derived from these industries if the growth in Maori wealth is to be maintained and improved upon, and land farmed in an effective and sustainable way.”

”New Zealand food products – lamb, kiwifruit, natural food ingredients – all have a positive image globally, backed up by world-class technology and innovation. This initiative will tap into that high-growth potential and deliver tangible benefits to the Tairawhiti region,” Jim Anderton said.

Details on Partnerships

The Tairawhiti Land Development Trust will be developing partnerships between landowners and the following businesses:

Progressive Gisborne Lamb Finishing - a specialist lamb processor that operates a systematic breeding and finishing programme to produce meat of a specific quality and type to meet market requirements.

The Tairawhiti Maori Monitor Farm Programme - Meat New Zealand and Woolpro have run a nationwide farm monitoring programme since 1991 as a practical means of enhancing the business strengths of the New Zealand pastoral industry. This new programme aims to mirror the nationwide programme and increase farmers’ awareness of manageable factors affecting their businesses, and motivate them to modify their systems to increase productivity and profitability while minimising risk.

The Cedenco Horticultural Land Development - is looking to double its exports over the next three years. Cedenco, a natural food ingredients business, has all of its processing capability for this produce within the region, and has been looking for increased access to productive land.

The Kiwifruit Orchard Development Company - this will be established with the objective of developing new kiwifruit orchards in the Tairawhiti region. The company will be closely associated with Zespri. International with whom it intends to develop a long term supply partnership. This new company will be headed by Stuart Abbot, who has 20 years experience with Zespri International in their technology transfer business, internationally and in New Zealand.

The Tairawhiti region includes:

The areas covered by the Wairoa and Gisborne district councils. It runs from Wairoa in the south right up to East Cape and inland including Lake Waikaremoana and Mt Hikurangi, running inland along the Raukumara range and Huiarau range.

The area covers that of Te Runanga O Ngati Porou, Te Runanga O Turanganui A Kiwa and Ngati Kahungunu Ki Te Wairoa.


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