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Jobs and wealth for Māori in regions from MSD

Jobs and wealth for Māori in regions from MSD - Miro partnership

Māori whānau in areas where jobs are more scarce will benefit from a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Miro Limited Partnership, a Māori-owned berry fruit company.

With funding from MSD, Miro, which is owned by over 20 Māori trusts, iwi and entities across Northland, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Taranaki and Nelson/Marlborough, has launched its employment and training programme today.
Miro aims to build a global export berry fruit business, owned and run by Māori, on Māori owned land, using new horticultural technologies and IP.

MSD funding will support the employment and training of up to 40 staff on Miro orchards over the next 12 months.

Hon Willie Jackson, Minister of Employment and Associate Minister for Māori Development, attended and spoke at the launch, hosted this afternoon by Ngati Haua at the iwi’s Rukumoana Marae in Morrinsville.

"In towns like Gisborne, Opotiki, Whakatane, Motueka, and Kaitaia, this could be a truly transformative opportunity. We want to raise employment across those communities and place Māori in the role of business leadership with all the social and economic benefits that become possible when people get the chance to use their whenua to gain self-determination."

Over 20 hectares of orchard developments are planned in the next 12 months and the Miro landowners and developers will need everything from labourers through to horticultural managers. The programme covers pre-employment training, employment placement, industry specific training, pastoral care, relocation services, employment subsidy and some additional services.

Miro Director Steve Saunders said, "In simple terms, Miro is aiming to build a berry exporter every bit as successful as Zespri. We will own the value chain end to end. Over the next nine years Miro will need over 100 skilled orchard managers, create over 5,000 jobs, plant 500 hectares of berries, return over $100m in revenue to growers per annum, and inject over $500m in to local economies. We’re not talking about berries being sold on the side of the road.

We’re talking about sophisticated horticultural development selling premium berries in to sophisticated markets across Asia and Australia."

Miro Chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen said, "We want to create sustainable jobs for whānau on our land, and upskill them in horticulture, fruit production, and owning their own business. Imagine working with your whānau, on whānau land, in a berry business owned by your whānau, hapu or iwi. Miro helps us achieve that vision."

Alongside the launch, Ngati Haua is running an employment expo bringing whanau members together with the region’s largest employers including Fonterra, Inghams, Tatua, Waikato-Tainui and NZ Police.

Minister Jackson said, "It’s terrific to see hapu and iwi taking the initiative to link employers and potential employees. It’s regional economic development in action."

Background information on Miro:

Miro Limited Partnership is owned by over twenty Māori trusts, iwi, entities. It will build a global export berry fruit business, owned and run by Māori, using new horticultural technologies, building global capability, and strong communities and regions. The berries will be grown in state-of-the art orchards (in pots with substrate, under tunnel houses), on Māori owned land, with considerable focus on employing Māori and capability development in regions

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