Partnership aims to boost Chatham Islands economy

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Iwi Moriori and Ngāti Mutunga have partnered with Aotearoa Fisheries Limited (AFL) to launch a new processing plant on the Chatham Islands with the aim of boosting the islands economy.

Dion Tuuta (Ngāti Mutunga) says, “Fisheries is what they do best here, so I'm pleased to be here to support my relatives.”

According to the CEO of (AFL) Carl Carrington, “We couldn't do this without the support of our iwi partners, Moriori and Ngāti Mutunga. They're absolutely vital to this and they're cornerstone shareholders for us and this is their rohe and for us to be able to partner with them here it's just fantastic.”

The partnership has also gained the support of Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene. He says, “I'm the MP for the largest electorate in the country, which includes the community of Wharekauri Rēkohu, which is why I'm here to support my people and they're new factory.”

Moriori spokesman, Maui Solomon says this is only the beginning of better and bigger dreams to come.

“We need to look at developing our agricultural resources and our fisheries resources. I would add to that our tourism resources and looking at bringing more people down to the island to expand our economic base,” explained Solomon.