Associate Forestry Minister Meka Whaitiri welcomes the project between Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust and Te Uru Rākau, to plant 3,600 hectares of pine trees in the far North and less than 500 hectares of Mānuka.
“The training programme that will run alongside the planting of Mānuka seedlings in 2019 and 2020 is a significant opportunity for Ngāti Hine rangatahi to gain qualifications in the forestry sector,” Whaitiri says.
She says they expect 20 trainees to be involved with the Mānuka planting next year and another 20 in 2020.
There will be a rise of business opportunities from the Mānuka plantation that could lead to employment opportunities in the heart of Ngāti Hine.
“I want to see training programmes that invest in our rangatahi – young people, and the young at heart – that roll out across the regions to build the capacity and capability within New Zealand’s forestry sector.”
She says it is important to build an increasingly skilled, safe and higher paid workforce, including a Māori workforce that is able to benefit from the many opportunities the One Billion Trees planting programme will create.
“We must re-build the forestry workforce across the whole supply chain, including investing in the highly skilled as well as technology and innovation. This will ensure we can increase the value of our forestry industry and our forestry products.”
“This Government is committed to working with Māori to build their skills across the forestry sector and the primary industries to meet Māori development aspirations.”