Whai Orchards, Te Uretureture / Matakana 9
About the programme
Te Tumu Paeroa, in partnership with Quayside Holdings, is investing $30m to build 10 kiwifruit orchards on Māori land in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne in 2017-2018.
This is the single largest kiwifruit investment ever made on Māori land. Nearly 90 hectares of semi- and unproductive land will be converted into successful grower businesses for the long-term benefit of owners and their community.
We've developed a unique model to establish new enterprises on Māori land. The model allows full ownership of the orchards to transfer to land owners in an estimated 12 – 17 years, after achieving a targeted rate of return on capital invested. In the interim, the land will be leased and we'll build and operate the high-performing businesses, carrying the financial risk.
What will this programme mean for owners?
Jamie Tuuta, Māori Trustee, talking about the programme
Jamie Tuuta, Māori Trustee and Chief Executive Officer of Te Tumu Paeroa said, “Our programme allows land owners to participate in developing a successful kiwifruit orchard on their land and see the ownership of the business transfer to them by 2030, creating a legacy for generations to come.”
“A core part of our programme is building the capability of land owners to successfully govern the business when it comes time to transfer ownership to them. We want to see Māori land owners involved in the whole process — developing skills and hands-on experience in running kiwifruit orchards on the ground as well as in the boardroom.”
By 2030, based on today’s return, the orchards are expected to generate over $80,000 per hectare per annum or $7.1m by growing a mixture of premium Gold kiwifruit and traditional Green kiwifruit. In the 2015/16 season the average return for Green kiwifruit was a record $56,673 per hectare.
“It’s difficult for Māori land owners to develop businesses on their land unless they have access to capital from other means, because many don’t want to use the land as security on a loan. As a result, owners usually contract out the land to businesses who do have access to capital and can reap the financial rewards for taking the entrepreneurial risk. Māori land owners are missing out. Our programme addresses that, putting businesses in the hands of land owners.”
Our experience with Omaio 39 and other orchards
We've successfully piloted the approach, building two new orchards in the Bay of Plenty over the past three years. Over nine hectares of kiwifruit vines were planted in 2016 and the first fruit will be harvested from the orchards next year. The properties are managed by professional kiwifruit management companies Southern Cross Horticulture and OPAC.
The benefits of this programme are more than just financial. It will enable owners to reconnect with their whenua and support them to achieve their long-term aspirations for their land. For example, as part of the redevelopment of their land and the building of the orchard, owners of Whai Orchards, established on Te Uretureture , Matakana, have set up a Māori reservation to restore historic pā sites and established an urupā (cemetery).
Kiwifruit is a thriving industry with a very positive, long-term growth projectory. It’s also a fruit which growers can delegate the services for production and marketing to others, which is critical for owners who are not kiwifruit growers already.
We've identified 10 blocks of land in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, which have the characteristics that would make it a successful kiwifruit orchard, including a suitable climate, high quality soils, flat land and access to water and supporting services.
We're currently engaging with trustees and land owners to ensure they have the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about participating in the programme and what this means for them.