The significant economic contribution that Ngati Porou has the potential to make to the region, were highlighted in two major publications released recently. He Huarahi Hei Whai Oranga (the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan), charts the region’s economic development priorities over the next five years, while Kimihia He Oranga (the Tairawhiti Maori Economic Development Report) provides a critical insight into the economic opportunities and challenges for Tairawhiti whanau, hapu and iwi.
A wide cross-section of Ngati Porou, including iwi representatives and business owners were involved in the creation of both documents over the past two years, with several attending the official launch held in Gisborne at the end of last month.
Selwyn Parata, Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou chairperson, said Ngati Porou welcomed the final presentation of the report and action plan. “A number of action priorities for the district have been identified where Ngati Porou have a pivotal role to play. The participation of our Ngati Porou landowners and forestry entities are crucial to growing the manuka honey industry and adding value to the wood industry. The development of the region’s cultural tourism and cottage industry sector would also be greatly enhanced with the involvement of Ngati Porou businesses, whanau enterprises and entrepreneurs.”
Selwyn also noted that collaboration was a key element identified to support a thriving Tairawhiti economy. “Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou are committed to continuing our dialogue with other Tairawhiti iwi, the business community and the government, to help lift the economic prosperity of our whanau and the entire region. We welcome opportunities to explore collaborative ventures with other partners who share our aspirations. We are also pleased the government is committed to supporting the economic development of the Tairawhiti and for recognising the potential and contribution that iwi and Maori asset owners can make to improving our economic performance, as well as the region. We would like to address the findings made in the Maori economic development report with relevant government ministers, and look forward to working with government in practical ways.”
Whaimutu Dewes, a director of Ngati Porou Holding Company and chairman of Ngati Porou Seafood Group and Ngati Porou Forests also attended the presentation. “Me haere ngatahi — collaboration is crucial to the success of the long-term growth of the region. Ngati Porou Holding Company is already working directly with the regional economic development agency, Activate Tairawhiti and others on the Regional Branding Initiative. We are also working with other groups to broaden growth opportunities, including local employment for Ngati Porou and the region generally.”