fbpx
Print this page
Wednesday, 05 May 2021 08:55

Māori seek more leadership in kiwifruit sector

Written by  Peter Burke
Māori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chair Anaru Timutimu says it would be good to see more Māori in leadership roles throughout the industry. Māori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chair Anaru Timutimu says it would be good to see more Māori in leadership roles throughout the industry.

Anaru Timutimu wants to see more Māori in leadership roles in the kiwifruit industry

Timutimu is chairman of the Māori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (MKGI) and also a shareholder in the largest Māori kiwifruit operation in the country, Ngai Tukairangi Trust, based in Tauranga. He told Rural News it would be good to see Māori in leadership roles throughout the industry, as well as being some of the leading growers in the country.

At present, Māori-owned kiwifruit orchards produce 13.9 million trays of gold and green fruit each year or about 10% of New Zealand's total kiwifruit exports. Māori own nearly 1,200 hectares of land devoted to kiwifruit - most of which is in the Bay of Plenty region. The largest Māori kiwifruit growing areas are Tauranga, Te Puke and Te Kaha.

Māori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (MKGI) was formed in 2016. It is an independent lobby and advocacy group representing Māori growers in New Zealand and beyond. MKGI's board has representatives of various Māori trusts and incorporations involved in growing kiwifruit across the country.

Timutimu says the kiwifruit industry is a great one for Māori to be involved in.

"It's a good industry to be involved in because it means our people can stay close to where they are from and don't necessarily have to move to the cities," he told Rural News.

"There are opportunities in all facets of the value chain and the opportunity to travel, learn and work overseas."

Māori's entry into the kiwifruit industry began in the mid-1980s and early 1990s when trusts such as Ngai Tukairangi and Hineora Te Kaha 15B in the Eastern Bay of Plenty started their operations. In the case of Ngai Tukairangi, it involved converting a dairy farm into a kiwifruit orchard. With Hineora it was bringing into one entity, small blocks of land growing vegetables and citrus trees that in the past had produced poor returns to whanau.

Incidentally, both trusts were finalists in last year's Ahuwhenua Trophy for the Māori top horticultural property. Te Kaha 15B was eventually named the winner.

Timutimu is full of praise for their efforts.

"The Te Kaha Māori kiwifruit growers are an awesome exemplar of the way they have worked in the community by training their own managers and staff," he says.

"The collective also purchased the local lodge for accommodation for the local workers and they also own the local spraying business.

"They are looking at ways of utilising their water for all growers in Te Kaha."

More like this

All hands on deck

Growers are mucking in and helping staff to pick this year's kiwifruit crop.

Zespri's challenging year ahead

Zespri is expecting this year to be one of its most challenging seasons it has faced, thanks to the impact of Covid across the global supply chain.

Future peachy for NZ kiwifruit

A recent global report says the outlook for the NZ kiwifruit sector remains strong due to expanding kiwifruit consumption in Asia, the EU and the US.

Local kiwifruit pickers needed

New Zealand's borders are opening again and kiwifruit grower organisation NZKGI wants backpackers coming into the country to help with this year's harvest.

Automation the answer

The kiwifruit industry needs to automate to protect growers from the labour challenges the industry faces.

National

Time's up

Chris Lewis, a Feds national board member and spokesman on immigration and labour issues for the past two years, will…

B+LNZ bosses head to Europe

For the first time since Covid-19 travel restrictions were implemented, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) says it will send…

Deer management funding welcomed

The NZ Game Animal Council (GAC) welcomes the $30 million allocated in Budget 2022 to implement the New Zealand Biodiversity…

Machinery & Products

A new approach to apprenticeships

By taking a new approach to its apprenticeship programme, agricultural equipment supplier Norwood says it is ensuring farmers’ machinery will…

Buck-Rake does the job

With many self-propelled forage harvester manufacturers offering machines hitting 1000hp, the bottleneck in any harvesting system is always likely to…

Pigtail standards made to last

Feedback from farmers highlighted frustration at the time and cost involved in frequently replacing failed pigtail posts.