Māori primary industries flourish in the Bay of Plenty

updated By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Māori have become major players in the Kiwifruit industry according to Te Horipo Karaitiana of the Bay of Connections He Mauri Ohooho Māori economic development strategy. Karaitiana says Māori make up a third of Te Waiariki kiwifruit production.

There's plenty of praise for the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Action Plan.

"Most of New Zealand's kiwifruit is in the Western Bay of Plenty. Māori are very influential within the Western Bay and particularly influential in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, so Māori and kiwifruit are major players," said Karaitiana.

The action plan has already seen investment in the Ōpotiki sea farm and harbour development, increased Māori knowledge of geothermal power and the unused land turned to kiwifruit orchards.

"Māori are benefiting in many sectors such as kiwifruit and agriculture. This area is especially fortunate because there are many resources belonging to Māori, like the forests and agriculture that grows on the land, but also the natural geysers and natural geothermal pools under the ground, as well as fisheries," said Ministry for Primary Industries director, Hinemaua Rikirangi.

The government will invest $50 million to reduce the number of at-risk young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) as part of its Regional Growth Programme. There are around 86,000 NEETs within the regions, of which 5,500 are disproportionately Māori and mostly male.

"It's targeting them and really being a matchmaker if you like,

"finding out the individual by individual business jobs that are there and going out and finding these young people and helping them," said Economic Development Minister, Simon Bridges.

He Mauri Ohooho is working to establish the Ngāi Tahu initiative, Whenua Kura, that trains Māori in Primary industries in the North Island.