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Collectively Owned Maori Farms Much Larger than the Average

Collectively Owned Maori Farms Much Larger than the Average New Zealand Farm

At nearly 2,000 hectares (ha), the average collectively owned Maori farm is about eight times the size of the average New Zealand farm, Statistics New Zealand said today.

The figures come from a survey of farms owned by members of the Federation of Maori Authorities (the Federation), which are a sub-set of all farm and forestry land that is collectively owned by Maori.

"The 140 Federation members’ farms have a total of 272,200ha of farm and forestry plantation land that members directly own and manage. It’s an area that’s more than one and a half times the size of Stewart Island. Altogether these Federation members' farms occupy nearly 2 percent of New Zealand's total farming and forestry area," agricultural statistics manager Hamish Hill said.

The farms are mainly large commercial livestock farms.

"Relative to all New Zealand farms, Federation members’ farms are a lot bigger, and they focus more on sheep and beef farming, and plantation forests. They also tend to be less intensively farmed than other farmland, which might reflect the land being more likely to be hill country, or in other areas more suited to sheep and beef or forestry," Mr Hill said.

"When compared with all New Zealand farms with sheep, Federation members’ farms have almost eight times the number of sheep, on average. On farms with beef cattle, their farms have 10 times the number, on average," Mr Hill said.

Other highlights from the research (at 30 June 2011) include that Federation members’ farms had:

 568,000 sheep (1.8 percent of New Zealand's sheep)

 79,900 beef cattle (2.1 percent of the New Zealand total)

 39,900 dairy cattle (0.6 percent of New Zealand's dairy herd)

 a forestry plantation area that was 2.9 percent of the national planted area.

This information is from the 2011 Agricultural Production Survey and was developed with the Federation’s assistance. These statistics are part of a pilot programme to develop statistics that identify Maori business activity within economic data.


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