Ngāti Hine JV creates exciting opportunities

  • Hon Meka Whaitiri

Associate Forestry Minister Meka Whaitiri has welcomed the joint venture between Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust and Te Uru Rākau announced today.

The joint venture includes planting 3,600 hectares of pine trees in the far North and almost 500 hectares of Mānuka.

“The training programme that will run alongside the planting of Mānuka seedlings in 2019 and 2020 is a significant opportunity for Ngāti Hine rangatahi to gain qualifications in the forestry sector,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“We expect 20 trainees involved in the Mānuka planting in 2019, and another 20 in 2020, to gain level 2 qualifications in a re-invigorated New Zealand forestry sector.

“I look forward to hearing of the progress the trainees will make through their training and seeing them receive their qualifications. The work experience trainees will gain will be invaluable.

“There will also be significant apiculture business opportunities from this commercial Mānuka plantation to contribute to the employment opportunities in the heart of Ngāti Hine country. It demonstrates how you can diversify Māori land to build long term resilience.

“I want to see training programmes that invest in our rangatahi – young people, and the young at heart – that roll out across the regions to build the capacity and capability within New Zealand’s forestry sector.

“It’s important that we build an increasingly skilled, safe and higher paid forestry workforce, including a Māori workforce, that is able to capitalise on the opportunities the One Billion Trees planting programme will create.

“We must re-build the forestry workforce across the whole supply chain, including investing in the highly skilled as well as technology and innovation. This will ensure we can increase the value of our forestry industry and our forestry products.

“This Government is committed to working with Māori to build their skills across the forestry sector and the primary industries to meet Māori development aspirations,” Meka Whaitiri said.