Te Uru Rakau and Ngati Hine Forestry Trust have signed a joint venture to plant and manage about 3,600 hectares of pine trees in the far North, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced late last week.
“This marks the first joint venture negotiated under the One Billion Trees programme with Ngati Hine Forestry Trust and Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) committed to working together on this commercial venture,” Shane Jones said.
“This will be a boost to the local economy and will provide employment opportunities and better social outcomes for the whole region. We’ll plant 500,000 pine trees this year, with a further 2 million planted over the next three years.
“In addition, up to 465 hectares of Manuka will be planted on Ngati Hine Forestry Trust land. At the end of two years a substantial commercial Manuka plantation will be in place with an apiculture business developed to help the Trust diversify its land use.
“This will provide essential work experience for young people, helping them to build a strong foundation for a forestry career. Over two years, up to forty people will participate in the training programme, developing the skills and qualifications they need to succeed.
“We’ll invest $1.9 million in the Manuka planting initiative, with the potential that the training programme developed could also be used in other regions nationwide.
“This initiative supports the Trust’s plans to establish and grow future opportunities for higher skilled and better paid jobs in Northland. It will help create economic resilience in the region and improve the quality of their land for future generations.
“The One Billion Trees programme is more than an investment in trees. It’s about providing an important investment in our people, our regional communities, and our environment,” Shane Jones said.
Late last week the Minister also announced another forestry initiative – Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) will work with Ngati Rehia towards an agreement that will see the Crown establish a commercial forest on iwi land, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced last Friday.
“It’s great news that Te Uru Rakau, and Ngati Rehia are committed to work towards a commercial forestry rights agreement following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties,” said Shane Jones.
“Through the Provincial Growth Fund, we’ll also invest $288,000 to explore the establishment of a kauri sanctuary – free from kauri dieback – on about 45 hectares of sheltered Ngati Rehia land.
“This is another example of this Government pursuing genuine partnerships to support Maori economic development.”