September 27, 2019
Irrigation grant option sparks hopes of kiwifruit gold
Changes to the settings for the way the Provincial Growth Fund deals with applications for Māori land development has spurred renewed interest in the scheme.
Willie Te Aho from Te Whānau a Apanui and Te Aitanga a Māhaki says Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced the rethink of the criteria for the Whenua Māori Fund at a resource management hui in Wellington on Monday.
Blocks he is involved with in Raukokore and Tūranga have plans to plant up to 90 hectares of kiwifruit gold, but they don't have the direct access to water enjoyed by competitors under the current allocation system.
They will need to build water storage.
"If I can get a grant for my six separate irrigation systems in Tūranga it takes a huge cost, up to $50,000 per hectare, off my people and they can look for investors for high quality horticultural development that's off lands at the moment generating to $2000 per hectare which should be generating $80,000 per hectare," Mr Te Aho says.
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