May 09, 2022
Gold licence regime locks our new Māori entrants
Māori asset managers want help switching kiwifruit production to gold.
Willie Te Aho has helped land trusts at Raukokore near East Cape develop 15 hectares of orchard, says they missed out last year on licenses for the Sun Gold variety because of the cost Zespri is charging for licenses, and those licenses are more than 50 per cent more expensive this year.
He says last week’s hui of iwi asset managers discussed ways new Māori entrants could challenge the system which shuts them out of the most lucrative crop.
“We’re not saying we should pay any less but we want better terms that ensure we can pay over 10 years so Zespri can get the value and we can get the license and it’s just done on better terms that enable new entrants like mine to participate, otherwise we are never going to get in,” Mr Te Aho says.
He says iwi leaders are also considering whether a claim for growing rights could come under the WAI 262 intellectual property claim because what Zespri is selling was developed in Aotearoa by crown research body Crop and Food.