30 Jul 2013

Waikato land likely to be better used now

6:42 am on 30 July 2013

Lands owned by two Waikato tribes will be better used thanks to an agreement by the iwi and Lincoln University.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Ngati Haua have signed a memorandum of understanding with the tertiary educator.

The document outlines an agreement to create an agricultural training centre in Waikato and to explore a new farm certificate course.

Tribal spokesperson Willie Te Aho, who affiliates to both iwi, says the programme is intended for everyone - not just tangata whenua.

Mr Te Aho says more than 80% of Maori land across the country is underperforming and the partnership with Lincoln will be beneficial for his tribes' land.

He says if underproductive lands are utilised it is more than likely not by Maori, but rather a third party.

Mr Te Aho says the tribes' investment in education will help them better use the land and create economic potential.

The tribes and Lincoln University aim to start a tertiary study programme later in the year - initially with about 10 students and isn't limited to Maori.