Science plays critical role in revitalising under-utilised Māori-owned land

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Keith Ikin believes science plays a critical role in unlocking the potential of Māori-owned land and natural resources, which have long being under-utilised.

The new General Manager of Māori Development for Landcare Research in Hamilton says he was welcomed into his newly created role today by his colleagues.

A new position has been created by Landcare Research specifically for Māori and they're confident they have the right man for the job.

Rauru Kirikiri says, “They are very fortunate to have a man of his immense knowledge and great passion to lead the way in regard to developing dormant Māori land for the benefit of the people.”

Richard Gordon says, “Keith is a man of the land. He's also a man of the people and we say “Manaaki Whenua, Manaaki Tangata”. So much of our work is to do with the whenua, the land, and Kieth brings a very practical experience from his farming background.”

Keith Ikin's Ngāti Maniapoto family handed him over to his new family of work colleagues today and he's well aware of the huge task ahead.

Ikin says, “My main role is to work alongside Māori families living on their own land to help them develop their land. I'll also be sharing with them some scientific knowledge to enable them to achieve their hopes and dreams and make the most of their land.”

Under Landcare Research's new General Manager of Māori Development, under-utilised Māori-owned land could be revitalised to benefit the people.