24 May 2012

Maori agribusiness entering exciting new phase

8:31 pm on 24 May 2012

The Maori Trustee organisation says Maori agribusiness is entering a new and exciting phase.

Jamie Tuuta told a dairy farming audience in Hamilton that Maori assets now control 37% of New Zealand's fishing quota and 36% of the forests, as well as being major players in the dairy, sheep and beef industries.

He says one advantage for many Maori agribusiness organisations is that they have multiple land use options.

Mr Tuuta says there is 1.5 million hectares of Maori freehold land, and significant room to improve production on much of it.

He says it's going to be a challenge but unlocking the Maori land base will provide employment opportunities, create wealth for rural communities and businesses and improve New Zealand's export returns.

Mr Tuuta says as Maori Trustee his office administers 100,000 hectares of Maori free hold land, which he wants to see made more productive.