5 Aug 2015

Māori leaders on Asian kiwifruit mission

10:22 am on 5 August 2015

A delegation of Māori organisations and business leaders is touring Asia to gain a better understanding of markets for kiwifruit and other produce.

Green kiwifruit growers got their highest ever return per hectare of $53,884 and just over $6 a tray.

Green kiwifruit growers got their highest ever return per hectare of $53,884 and just over $6 a tray. Photo: 123RF

The group - which includes chairs and executives of Maori authorities - is currently in Japan, and will go on to Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Federation of Maori Authorities chair Traci Houpapa said Māori were already exporting produce into the region, but this trip would help establish what opportunities there might be to gain better returns.

Ms Houpapa said she was excited the tour was a Maori initiative that had been led by Māori-owned kiwifruit business Te Awanui Huka Pak, alongside kiwifruit marketer Zespri.

She said regardless of the good work the government was doing to secure trade agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, Māori authorities were not waiting for permission to develop trade opportunities.

The delegation will meet with importers and attend the opening of a new Zespri hub in Singapore.

The group includes delegates from the Far North, as well as Gisborne and the East Coast.