Monday, July 15, 2024

$20m pledged for Māori business

The Government has today agreed to commit around $20 million for projects to support iwi, hapū and Māori businesses.

A total of $3.7m has been reprioritised from PGF funds for the Regional Development portfolio to support Māori development, Māori tourism and Māori agribusiness.

“A total of $3.1m has been provided to the Tapuae Roa Taranaki Crossing project, to help Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa realise iwi aspirations by developing the North Taranaki Visitor Centre,” said Māori Development Minister, Tama Potaka.

“This investment will enable Te Atiawa to own and operate a special tourism asset while providing the cultural narrative of the maunga.”

“The Visitor Centre will deliver benefits including an opportunity to generate income from commercial activities of the 130,000 visitors each year, which will support employment for Te Atiawa people.”

Through Te Haumanu o Te Kapua project, Nga Hua o Ngāti Pukenga in Bay of Plenty received an additional $600,000 which enabled them to turn underutilised whenua Māori into a high-value gold kiwifruit orchard, as well as restoring wetlands and protecting a pā site. This investment was crucial to accelerating the project and make it more financially viable, as well as providing employment.

Another $16.1 million has been approved through the North Island Weather Event Primary Producer Scheme to three whānau businesses. Miro – Meihana Koata in Bay of Plenty; Ngāi Tukairangi in Hawke’s Bay, and Torere Macadamias in Bay of Plenty are being supported to restore their horticultural assets after the cyclones last year. These are crucial regional horticulture businesses that employ and support many local Māori.

“The Regional Infrastructure Fund, announced in Budget 2024, has the potential to create a funding source for regional infrastructure projects led by Māori businesses and landowners that otherwise would not proceed,” said Regional Development Minister, Shane Jones.

“Given the barriers to investment faced by Māori entities, whenua Māori, iwi and Māori business, Minister Potaka and I have worked with Cabinet to agree that Māori development will be one of the initial focuses of the fund,” he said.

A total $4.8 billion of support has gone into regional projects since the establishment of the Regional Development portfolio in 2017, with over $800m directly invested Māori development projects.

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