Big spends on regional growth, innovation and development in Budget 2016 are among the positives for Ngati Porou. That, and Government’s push to open trade pathways can be seen as the major take-away for Iwi, said Minister of Finance, Bill English speaking at a Budget hui held at Te Tini o Porou.
On the same day the UK made its historic break from the European Union, Ngati Porou hosted the Hon Mr English alongside regional leaders, iwi representatives and business advocates.
“We’re taking a long term view - we’ve got choices because we’ve got surpluses - a long term view about the economy, diversifying it, doing what we can to support incomes and about the government business because that’s the way we’ll do a better job in changing people’s lives,” Mr English said.
Chief Executive of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Herewini Te Koha said when it comes to carving up the funding pie, all governance entities face the same kind of challenges.
“There has to be an agenda that takes account of both aspects - our social capital as people within our region - making sure they are in the best position possible in terms of health, social circumstances, education pathways and an equal focus on lifting the basis for economic prosperity for our region. ”
Mr English, now in his third term as Deputy Prime Minister, said Iwi interests rely heavily on developing sustainable markets for fisheries, forestry and agri-business. Government’s efforts to settle trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) promise lucrative contracts in the future, the Minister said.
Herewini Te Koha said, like government, Ngati Porou had to grapple with numerous concerns when it came to responsible management of assets.
“There are some parallels there in terms of the Government’s approach to its budget and financial discipline that resonate with our own development and journey as an Iwi organisation. Making sure we’re balancing our growth agenda with periods of consolidation,” Mr Te Koha said.
Mr English indicated a $411 million boost to science and innovation would enable Iwi to press forward with their own initiatives in agriculture, seafoods, energy and forestry.
Huti Watson, Project Manager at Tairawhiti Maori Economic Development Cooperative (Kimihia He Oranga) said Iwi business supported moves to encourage self-development.
“If we’re continually linking in and we have research projects that bring innovation, that helps us do our jobs better, that helps us accelerate,” said Ms Watson.
In a nod to the $94 million set aside for the Regional Growth Programme, Huti Watson said, “It looks as though there’s quite a bit of funding being put aside for business and enterprise.”
Mr English described this funding as a major driver to enable Iwi to identify investment opportunities in each region.
“The topic that comes up in Gisborne most is roading,” said Mr English.
He said the portion of the $115 million earmarked for regional roading projects such as SH35 and the Motu Bridge replacement would help the growth of forestry and tourism ventures.
The completion of ultra-fast broadband in the rural areas and the availability of an Iwi-focused digital database would also feed into the Maori Economy, Mr English said.
Ms Watson said the development of new enterprises like Ngati Porou Miere were signs that Iwi were taking full advantage of a stable economic outlook.
“Ngati Porou are now poised on the cusp of something that’s really important post-settlement. We have the ability to explore our economic might. It’s not about ‘cap in hand’, it’s about what resources, assets we’ve got that we can leverage.”
Chairman of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Selwyn Parata described the budget break-down as an opportunity for Ngati Porou to give direct feedback on funding allocation.
“Although, Mr English talked in very broad terms support to grow our economic potential is a huge one and it needs to be balanced in terms of the people and families within our region,” Mr Parata said.
Mr Parata saw the discussion as helping the community to unravel the mechanics of the budget.
“I think it’s exciting Ngati Porou can see how its kaupapa and the value of its work can help rejuvenate the economy back in Ngati Porou. I’m talking about the social, environmental, economic and cultural - quadruple bottom line.”
|$12 million||Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Grants Fund|
|$9.6 million||Māori and Pasifika Trades Training|
|$14.2 million||Maori Land Service|
|$3.6 million||Te Tumu Paeroa|
|$25 million||Nga Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trail|
|$24.5 million||Freshwater Improvement Fund|
|$411 million investment in science and innovation|
|$94 million for regional economic development|
|$115 million for the Accelerated Regional Roading Programme.|
To view the full Budget 2016 breakdown click here
You may also like to read, "$41million in Budget 2016 for Whanau Ora"
To view the presentaion "Investing in a Growing Economy" by Minister of Finance, Hon. Bill English click here