24 Jan 2012

Avocados on land a bonus, says Ngati Kuri

9:42 pm on 24 January 2012

The chairman of the Ngati Kuri Trust Board in the Far North says it is a bonus that the first piece of land the iwi has owned in more than 150 years includes a productive avocado orchard.

The board has purchased just over 300 hectares near Ngataki, north of Kaitaia, from Auckland-based receivers McDonald Vague.

Board chairman Harry Burkhardt says it is the first in a series of steps designed to rebuild the tribe's economic base.

Mr Burkhardt says the land is part of a 35,000-hectare block which the Crown took from Ngati Kuri in 1858.

He says the whenua (land) is important to the iwi and the fact it includes 60 hectare of avocados means employment opportunities plus an income.

The iwi paid for the block from its own resources and it is not part of the Ngati Kuri Treaty Settlement process, he says.