27 Nov 2013

Kaikohe dairy venture to help train young people

7:26 pm on 27 November 2013

The land administrator, Te Tumu Paeroa, says its collaboration with a Maori trust in Northland on a new dairy venture should set an example for other authorities.

The Omapere Rangihamama Trust has partnered up with Te Tumu Paeroa to convert one of its forestry and sheep and beef farms near Kaikohe into a 278 hectare dairy farm with 500 cows by February.

Chairman Sonny Tau says Te Tumu Paeroa and the Ministry for Primary Industries have been instrumental in the move, which will provide a better financial return on the land.

The scheme will contribute to the $40,000 the trust already spends on scholarships to give young people new skills, he says.

It will also enter into partnership with Lincoln University, and students will use the farming grounds to train for university qualifications.

There is a lot of underused Maori land in the North and Mr Tau says the farm could set an example for other trusts.

Te Tumu Paeroa chief executive Jamie Tuuta says the trust's goal is in line with his organisation's drive to put underused Maori land into production.

He says through collaborations, the potential of Maori freehold land across the country will be unlocked.