Ngāti Hine invest in Kiwifruit orchards

By Ripeka Timutimu

Ngāti Hine iwi members are set to benefit as the iwi works to build its asset base by exploring investment into Kiwifruit orchards.

The Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust recently acquired orchards in the North of around 43 hectares.

Ngāti Hine member Pita Tipene says the Trust began in the pine industry, “but now we want to diversify, we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket.”

It’s predicted the orchards will yield around 300,000 trays of fruit, to sell at a cost of around $5 upwards per tray.

“It's not just about buying land, we have an opportunity to train our Ngāti Hine people, our families, our subtribes of this region. They can help here in these orchards,” says Tipene.

He says this isn't a lone venture. Ngāti Hine will lease land to Seeka, who will oversee the distribution and selling of the golden fruit in the international markets.

“The objectives of Seeka is to encourage Ngāti Hine to do the best for Ngāti Hine, to encourage them to develop their businesses, and more specifically their business in the kiwifruit industry,” says Tipene.

The Trust will also look at other business opportunities to further benefit their tribe.