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North Island Māori secure a record slice of kiwifruit market

North Island Māori secure a record slice of kiwifruit market

27 June 2018

Three North Island iwi-based entities have successfully purchased one of New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit portfolios.

Te Arawa Group Holdings (Rotorua); Rotoma No 1 Incorporation (Rotorua), and Ngāti Awa Group Holdings (Whakatane) today announced they are the new owners of Matai Pacific’s vast kiwifruit portfolio.

The large-scale property deal includes three Bay of Plenty orchards covering a total of almost 100 canopy hectares.

All three orchards - Te Matai Orchard; Pacific Gold Orchard and Coachman Orchard – are located in Te Puke. They were sold by tender for an undisclosed sum.

The orchards will now be operated by a new Māori-owned joint-venture called Matai Pacific Iwi Collective.

There are no plans to make any immediate changes to the three separate orchards. However, there is potential to further expand production, which could result in long-term job growth.

The properties currently grow green (Hayward) and gold (G3) varieties in roughly equal percentages. When mature, the three blocks are expected to produce up to 1.3 million trays.

Te Arawa Group Holdings already has nearly ten years’ experience in the industry. Chair Dr Andrew West says the purchase is a perfect opportunity to invest for future generations.

“This is an industry we know well, and we have a proven track record of success. Together we can build a bright future for our people by delivering jobs and economic growth through the booming global demand for New Zealand kiwifruit.”

Rotoma No 1 Chair Nelson Meha says a large-scale investment will deliver economies of scale in an industry where there is already record demand.

“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting new venture with partners who share similar values and whakaaro. We are also hopeful that this investment will create opportunities for our people throughout the value chain.”

Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Chair Paul Quinn says kiwifruit will be a new direction for Ngāti Awa. But having three partners on board is a great way to share knowledge and expertise.

“Māori growers are now making a real impact in the kiwifruit market. Like our two partners, we see this as an intergenerational investment. The decisions we make now are for future generations. This has the potential to be a huge legacy.”

About Te Arawa Group Holdings

Te Arawa Group Holdings (TAGH) manages the commercial assets of 11 Te Arawa iwi/hapū that collectively represent approximately 21,000 beneficiaries. TAGH has investments across agribusiness, forestry, tourism, property, geothermal and financial assets.

Rotoma No 1 Incorporation
Rotoma No. 1 Incorporation was established in 1908 to administer 6,637 acres on the shore of Lake Rotoma known as the Rotoma No. 1 Block. An initial register of 207 owners has now grown to include over 1,800 of their descendants. The operations of Rotoma have been largely dedicated to forestry and property including commercial rental investments in Rotorua. Rotoma has also been investing in the development of geothermal power.

About Ngāti Awa Group Holdings

Centred in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region, Ngati Awa comprises 22 hapū, with approximately 20,000 people claiming affiliation to the iwi. Ngāti Awa people are primarily located in towns on the Rangitaiki Plain. Ngāti Awa Group Holdings manages the rūnanga’s commercial assets. These include farming, fisheries, forestry, and equities.

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