5 Nov 2013

Minister eyes Maori land in boost for northern farming

7:35 pm on 5 November 2013

The Primary Industries Minister says a new programme to grow the primary industries in Northland will create jobs and prosperity in the region.

The Minister, Nathan Guy, says the Ministry will work in partnership with regions to help them develop industries, such as agriculture, horticulture, and forestry.

Nathan Guy.

Nathan Guy. Photo: RNZ

Mr Guy says the Ministry chose to start the programme in Northland because it's sitting on a large asset base, such as 116,000 hectares of Maori land.

He says if the government can assist to lift the performance and viability of that land it will create exports and jobs.

The Ministry is already working with two Māori-owned farms in Northland.

One involves the conversion of 270 hectares of Māori land to a dairy farm. The other provides technical support for a dairy and beef farm to increase productivity.

The next step in this programme will involve holding a primary sector hui with Iwi, Northland businesses, councils, and other government agencies.