Regional | Business

Sweet deal for Ngāti Porou to harvest liquid gold

An iwi-owned honey processing factory is to be built within the Ngāti Porou rohe.

Having honey processed locally reduces costs, and increases quantity and quality.

“Ultimately, the intent of the facility is to provide greater economic opportunity for Ngāti Porou landowners and beekeepers,” newly appointed Ngati Porou Holding Company chief executive Shayne Walker says.

The project is a culmination of two years of work for the Ngāti Porou Tairāwhiti Miere Collective consisting of Ngāti Porou Miere Ltd Partnership (Holdco, Tarere 2 Trust, proprietors of Whetumatarau B45B Incorporation (Pohutu Station), Harakeke Trust (Pt Arawhata), Taumataomanu A Trust and Awatere B Trust), Tairāwhiti Pharmaceuticals, the Bee Club and Trust Tairāwhiti.

“The collective has been having a conversation with the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for some co-funding to support the build.”

The PGF has provided a loan of up to $2 million and Holdco is contributing the remaining capital to build the extraction facility, with options for the collective partners to buy into the facility.

“Tahuna Te Ahi” is the business strategy used by Holdco, Walker says.

“It talks about moving toward more direct active investment for Ngāti Porou along the East Coast that then creates jobs and opportunities for whanau, hapu and iwi.  This collective approach to a Miere extraction facility is another exciting step where Holdco can play the role of activator, enabler and facilitator of Ngāti Porou economic outcomes.”

Construction is to begin in four months and be completed within 12 months.

The Ngāti Porou Tairawhiti Miere Collective will take the news to Ngāti Porou whanau up the East Coast in a roadshow, with hui starting at 4pm, at Hinerupe Marae, Te Araroa (Monday, August 3); Uepohatu (Whakarua Park, Pavilion) in Ruatoria on Tuesday,  August 4; and ending at Tuatini Marae in Tokomaru Bay on Wednesday, August 5.

“We invite whanau, landowners and beekeepers to understand the kaupapa and engage if they wish."