June 26, 2020
Fruitful day for BOP PGF projects
A Te Teko Māori land trust is accelerating the development of a blueberry orchard with a $2.1 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund’s Whenua Māori allocation.
The Meihana Koata Trust has already developed 9 hectares in partnership with Miro, a collective of 29 Māori iwi, hapū and whānau growers, and now it wants to double the size of its orchard.
Fletcher Tabuteau, the Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, says the project represents a sustainable, modern approach to developing Māori land.
The farm will create more than 150 jobs and provides opportunities for its staff to be trained in high-tech horticultural practices, while creating value for New Zealand’s primary sector.
The Provincial Growth Fund has also confirmed an extra $2.5 million for three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, including a project led by the Whakatāne District Council in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa to revitalise the riverfront, building a commercial boat harbour on 10 hectares owned by Te Rāhui Lands Trust, and rebuilding Whakatāne Army Hall as a community venue that will also celebrate the heritage, culture and stories of Ngāti Awa.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says the package is about jobs and community confidence, and it will play a significant role in the economic recovery from COVID-19.
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