1 Sep 2011

Maori trustee seeks to improve returns to landowners

5:43 am on 1 September 2011

The new man in charge of managing 105,000 hectares of Maori land wants to make more money for whenua owners, by becoming more business-like.

Jamie Tuuta of Ngati Mutunga, took up his role as the Maori Trustee last week.

His job is to administer land that might have multiple owners, is hard to access, or is currently unproductive.

Mr Tuuta says he's passionate about improving Maori primary sectors, such as forests, fishing and dairying.

He's planning for the Maori Trustee to become more than a major property management agency, by asking if owners can work their own land.

He says the question is: 'if Maori are more active on the land, what could be collected?'

He says work will be done over the next 18 months to explore how to provide greater financial returns to owners, such as turning whenua into dairy farms.

Mr Tuuta has been appointed as Maori Trustee for five years.