16 Jul 2010

Fomana continues to work with Maori exporters

4:29 pm on 16 July 2010

A director of Fomana Capital says the company is continuing to work with Maori exporters, despite the Federation of Maori Authorities severing its connection with it.

The federation took the action after the controversy surrounding Fomana's export development scheme, Tekau Plus, which a report found had delivered few benefits for exporters.

Fomana director Paul Morgan told Waatea News Fomana is finalising plans for a Maori trade mission to the Shanghai Expo in September.

He says that, through the company, Maori producers are able to work with large customers like supermarket chains which are looking for consistent suppliers of food and beverages.

The $3 million Tekau Plus agribusiness scheme was suspended last November after a value-for-money review found few benefits for exporters from the $1.5 million spent so far. It found the scheme was poorly governed, with poor management of conflicts of interest.

Set up in late 2007, the aim of the Te Puni Kokiri-commissioned project was to get Maori agribusinesses exporting goods worth up to $10 million within 10 years.

The review found the greatest benefit of the scheme went to Fomana, rather than to Maori exporters.