Hauraki Landcorp farm now Maori owned

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 12:26 26/11/2013

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Hauraki Maori have bought the largest dairy operation on the Hauraki Plains after the Crown agreed to pay $53 million up front from their Treaty claim.

The advance payment allowed five of the 12 iwi from the Hauraki Collective to buy the Pouarua dairy farm from the state-owned company Landcorp.

Ngati Maru, Ngati Paoa, Ngati Tamatera, Ngati Tara Tokanui and Te Patukirikiri settled the deal last week from the largest on-account Treaty payment made by the Crown.

The cost of the farm will be deducted from an overall financial redress amount of up to $100 million which was expected to be completed next year. The dairy operation runs a 5000-cow herd spread over eight farms near Ngatea. Hauraki Collective chairman Paul Majurey said the purchase would bring big returns for the five iwi.

"It allows us to exercise kaitiakitanga over our natural resources, ensuring they are managed sustainably for future generations."

Discussions with council over partnership arrangements to improve the quality of the region's waterways have begun.

The farm will continue to be managed by Landcorp on a sharemilking basis for the next five seasons and a new board, chaired by former Cabinet minister and dairy farmer John Luxton, has been appointed.

Farmer Rick Braddock and Hauraki iwi members Majurey and John McEnteer have also been appointed to the board.

Mr Luxton said the Pouarua Complex was a large-scale commercial asset generating healthy revenues for further investment.

"This is a significant asset," he said. "Our role will be to manage its continued growth and development, but in a balanced way which recognises the five iwis' aspirations around kaitiakitanga of this resource."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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