24 Jan 2012

Ngati Kuri moves to rebuild economic base

6:35 am on 24 January 2012

The Ngati Kuri Trust Board intends the purchase of a block of land north of Kaitaia to be the first in a series of moves in rebuilding its economic base.

The board has bought just over 300 hectares near the township of Ngataki, which includes about 60 hectares of productive avocado orchard.

Chairman Harry Burkhardt says it's the first piece of land Ngati Kuri has owned since the Crown alienated 35,000 hectares of the Muriwhenua South block in 1858.

He says the iwi has paid for the land from its own resources and it isn't part of the Ngati Kuri Treaty Settlement process.

Mr Burkhardt says there are strong historical links with the land, with one chief having a pa site there almost 500 years ago.

He says buying the land is part of the iwi's self determination and it's a bonus that it includes an export-quality avocado orchard.