June 05, 2015
Merger positions Poneke for lobster premium
The chair of Port Nicholson Fisheries says a lobster-processing partnership with Aotearoa Fisheries is a significant step in the drive to get the most out of Maori involvement in the fishery.
Port Nicholson has been the venicle for more than a dozen iwi groups and Taranaki's Parininihi ki Waitotara Incorporation to collectivise their lobster quota parcels.
Dion Tuuta says the new partnership with the pan-iwi company, which start in the new fishing season next April, means throughput will grow from about 250 tonnes a year to 650, making it the second largest processor in the country.
That scale will allow it to create its own brand in the market.
"Rather than having competing against each other, let's work together, kotahitanga, to get our name and our brand recongised in the market so we can secure the premium position Aotearoa has in the international market," Mr Tuuta says.
The collaboration means Aotearoa Fisheries won't have to build a new processing plant when the lease on its facility near Auckland Airport expires.
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