Support for productive Maori land plan

2:47 pm on 20 November 2012

Dairy, beef and sheep farmers are supporting a joint Maori-Government plan to lift Maori economic performance over the next 30 years.

The primary sector is backing the new strategy which also has an emphasis on education, training and boosting exports.

There is a lot of customary land - 1.5 million hectares - but not much happening on it.

The Crown estimates that 80% of Maori freehold farming land is not even close to reaching its potential.

Dairy cooperative Fonterrra and Beef + Lamb New Zealand say they will help make it profitable.

They are part of a taskforce called the Maori Land Productivity Initiative, which promises to act quickly to get programmes in place so Maori landowners can do more with their land.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the private sector can help them get ahead more quickly than the Government could alone.

The taskforce says it will come up with a plan before Waitangi Day next year on 6 February.