Māori growers a strong voice in kiwifruit industry referendum

By Te Ao Māori News
Māori growers strong voice in kiwifruit industry - Photo / file

A record number of Māori growers participated in the grower referendum for the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (KISP) and Te Awanui Huka Pak is praising their efforts.

In a press release today, Te Awanui Huka Pak Chair, Neil Te Kani said, “Māori are a key driving force in the kiwifruit industry, and the KISP process was about ensuring that this industry creates wealth for Māori both now and for future generations.”

He says that, "With over 90% support for all recommendations, the kiwifruit industry is in a strong position to deliver a strong economic growth platform for Māori."

As a result of the KISP process, the grower representative body, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI), will establish a dedicated seat for Māori representation.

Te Kani affirms that Māori are an integral part of this industry and deserve a seat at the table.  He says, "We have a responsibility as kaitiaki to ensure our future generations inherit a vibrant and successful industry.  I am proud of the way Māori have made the most of this opportunity to have their voices heard."

In December 2014, Te Kani told Te Kāea that a group of Māori kiwifruit growers were looking at getting into the million-dollar European fruit market for 2015.

He said Māori growers have had huge success in the Asian region, and now it's time to expand the horizons.