Regional | Te Tai Rāwhiti

Ngahere part of Tairāwhiti infrastructure vision

An East Coast biotech entrepreneur says the region is feeling abandoned by the new government.

Manu Caddie says neither Christopher Luxon’s 100-day plan nor the new 34-point action plan mentions Te Tai Rāwhiti.

The government has failed to move on the recommendations of the report by former minister Hekia Parata on forestry slash increasing the damage caused by extreme weather events, and its thinking on infrastructure seems to be about roads and bridges rather than land use.

Caddie says mass planting of exotic trees has been an ecological disaster, and the native cover needs to be regenerated and developed for economic purposes.

“Investment and support for things like Jobs for Nature that the government’s talking about cutting, that has been really crucial for projects like the Raukūmara Ranges, dealing with pests in there and trying to save what remains of those native ngahere, and expanding that on to private land and Māori land would be a really good investment of public funds,” he says.

Caddie says one of his companies, Hikurangi Bioactives, has demonstrated how mānuka and kānuka can be turned into valuable natural health products, with an eczema cream now licensed for sale overseas.

- Waatea News

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