January 31, 2020
Irrigation to unlock East Coast potential
An advocate for Māori development is hoping for good news when Ministers unveil how money in the Provincial Growth Fund’s whenua Māori section will be allocated.
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones are set to make the announcement in Kaikohe on Sunday.
Willie Te Aho says the fund has created an incentive for many owners to create administrative structures and look for the best use for their land.
At Raukokore near Te Kaha, owners have been helped by the PGF to plan a switch from dairy and cropping to horticulture gold and secure a resource consent to irrigate 200 hectares.
"The announcements on Sunday will be about supporting the infrastructure needed to get that water across those 200 hectares so if we can lift the production on those hectares, which are earning about $200 a hectare, if we lift it up to macadamia, avocado and kiwifruit gold, we are looking at over $9000 a hectare," Mr Te Aho says.
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