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Māori Development Receives Funding

Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

“These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to build the future prosperity of these communities.

“Each aligns to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) post COVID-19 reset criteria to create jobs and get social and economic recovery underway via projects visible within regional communities,” Shane Jones said.

More than 300 jobs, both immediate short-term and permanent, will be created across the regions through the investments, with more to be confirmed.

“As part of the PGF reset we are investing in projects that grow Māori firms and Māori assets in sectors that will be core to the economic rebuild. We are also continuing to invest in projects that meet whenua Māori criteria such as increasing productivity on underutilised land blocks, announced in February this year,” Shane Jones said.

“The PGF is funding existing Māori regional businesses with capital investment to increase productivity, increase job numbers and allow businesses to invest in regional economic development initiatives like construction and infrastructure. This investment allows these businesses to diversify into other sectors and markets and grow the Māori asset base in the regions.”

Nationally, the PGF is partnering with Poutama Trust which will receive a $5 million grant to provide access to development capital for small- to medium-sized Māori enterprises so it can scale up and grow.

In Northland Taumata Tirotiro Ltd will receive $719,000 for land development on four Māori-owned land blocks to operate a beef farm.

About $5.6 million will go to three Bay of Plenty projects which include the establishment of a food production hub in Ruatahuna, land remediation and kiwifruit orchard development at Welcome Bay near Tauranga, and the conversion of part of a dairy property to sheep-milking in Rerewhakaaitu.

Tairawhiti region will receive nearly $2 million for three projects that will lift productivity on whenua Māori. Over $970,000 will go to Te Aitanga a Māhaki Trust’s 23 Whenua Māori blocks so it can plant forestry. Parera Station will receive $495,838 for farm remediation and an upgrade of its East Cape campground. Maraetaha Inc will receive $489,900 to develop 460ha of underutilised farm land.

In Manawatu-Whanganui, the PGF is investing nearly $2.6 million to develop a 5ha strawberry farm near Whanganui.

Pukerewa Station Development in Waikato will receive $912,000 to install water reticulation and fencing.

In the far South, Rakiura Māori Lands Trust will receive nearly $2.2 million in loans and grants for an environmental tourism initiative on Stewart Island. This involves building tracks and other infrastructure, including a predator-proof fence.

“The funding announced today will help these Māori Trusts and businesses to diversify, develop capabilities and create job opportunities within their communities. Many of these groups would not have received funding from commercial sources as their assets are on collectively owned Māori land.

“There are still more announcements that will benefit regional Māori businesses and communities to come,” Shane Jones said.

© Scoop Media

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