19 Jan 2015

Sheep help drive tribe's farm performance

5:58 am on 19 January 2015

Ngati Porou has turned around its farming fortunes, reporting a surplus of $324,000 in its last financial year.

The figure compares to the previous period's deficit of $1.46 million.

The Tairawhiti tribe said performance of its sheep division had improved, with sheep values and prices increasing.

Ngati Porou also said its lamb crop nearly doubled over two years, reaching 12,224 last year.

Reduced cattle production in the United States and the effects of drought in Australia played into the tribe's hands, with the iwi stepping in to take advantage of the supply shortage.

Part of its strategy is to produce higher value meat such as Wagyu beef, a Japanese beef breed which produces tender marbled meat cuts.

Ngati Porou operates three stations: Pakihiroa and Makarika in Ruatoria, and Puanga near Gisborne.

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