E ngā ringa tōhau nui, e ngā ngākau whihita, tēnā tātau katoa.
Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa have been successful in our application to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to develop a Horticulture Hub for Te Wairoa. The $2.3 million investment from PGF comprises a grant of $875,000 and a loan of $1,456,350 to develop a trial orchard, engage landowners to diversify into horticulture and develop an integrated skills and training programme. This project signifies the first commercial venture in the rohe using the full range of our settlement assets to create jobs and businesses for our whānau.
We rely heavily on farming with the meat works employing close to 60% of our communities. The current rate of afforestation presents a threat to the works and those jobs. Horticulture will provide another industry in the district and opportunities to increase the productivity of our whenua, returning greater economic benefits through higher yields, jobs and the creation of associated businesses. Our plan is to build a post-harvest facility in Wairoa from year 5 to year 10, creating 300 new jobs and contributing an extra $8.2 million every year to our local economy.
We see the environmental impacts of intensive horticulture, particularly water, in Heretaunga and Tūranga. We believe that if we take the lead on these developments here, we can ensure our values around environment, social wellbeing and culture flourish together.
Our Wairoa Horticulture Hub is a collaboration between Ngāti Pāhauwera, Hawkes Bay Regional Council and Wairoa District Council.
Realising these opportunities is important, now more than ever, given the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. You can read more about this project on pages 41 and 42 of our ‘Whakamanahia a Te Wairoa’ document, available on our website here. What next?
– We are recruiting for a programme manager and whenua Māori connector to lead us. You can read the full job advertisement here.
– We are looking for landowners who are interested in converting to horticulture and will be holding our first information evening in November.
– We are working with fresh produce organisations to develop a range of commercial partners with the same vision and values.
– We are working with schools, training providers, employers and government to develop a workforce plan.
We will endeavour to keep you updated on developments and have engaged Korou Digital to help take us together on this journey.
Keep an eye out for further updates as we look to address homes and housing for whānau.
Nāreira, Mā te mahitahi ka eā. Mauri tū, mauri ora!