26 Aug 2021

Māori authorities exports rose by 1.8% to $755m in 2020 - Stats NZ

4:17 pm on 26 August 2021

Exports by Māori authorities continued to rise in 2020 despite the impact of Covid-19.

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Kaimoana including crayfish were Māori authorities' top commodities export in 2020. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

The value of exports rose by $14 million or 1.8 percent to $755 million in 2020 compared to 2019, Statistics New Zealand says.

Kaimoana, including fish, crayfish, and mussels were Māori authorities' top commodities export in 2020 at $311 million.

More than 40 percent of Māori authorities' total exports were kaimoana, compared with just 3 percent of total New Zealand exports.

Māori authorities also exported $153 million worth of milk powder, butter, and cheese in 2020 which accounted for 20 percent of its total exports in the year.

Stats NZ business statistics senior manager, Darren Allan, says growth in Māori authority exports was higher than growth in New Zealand exports.

Between 2015 and 2020, exports by Māori authorities rose 55 percent. Over the same period, exports by all New Zealand businesses rose 22 percent.

The top export market for Māori authorities was China.

In 2020, total exports to China were worth $352 million and accounted for almost half of the value of all Māori authorities goods exports.

By contrast, China accounted for just over a quarter of goods exports for all New Zealand businesses.

"China has been the top export market for Māori authorities over the past 10 years, and a key export market for both kaimoana and milk powder, butter, and cheese for New Zealand," Allan said.

Statistics New Zealand said three in five Māori authorities and one-half of Māori SMEs operated as essential services during Covid-19 lockdown.

Māori authorities are businesses involved in collective management of assets, mostly in agriculture, non-residential property operations and manufucturing industries.

They had the highest proportion of businesses fully operational during alert level 4.

Many Māori SMEs were in agriculture, manufacturing and health services.

Stats NZ said essential businesses were key to supporting the country during Covid-19 alert levels.

More land on Māori farms used for forest plantation

Māori land operated by Māori farms planted one in four hectares as forests, Statistics New Zealand says.

The area of forest plantation on Māori farms increased from 66,000 hectares in 2006 to 126,000 hectares as of 30 June 2020.

"More land on Māori farms is being used for forest plantation, which may provide an option for the protection of lands, as well as employment and economic benefits," Allan said.

In 2020, grassland made up 43 percent of land on Māori farms, compared with 55 percent for all New Zealand farms.

Māori farms had a higher proportion of bush and scrub, at 20 percent compared with 8 percent on the average New Zealand farm

Māori farms which make up almost 4 percent of all farmland, have on average five times more land than the average New Zealand farm, and three times as much livestock.

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