Waikato land owners have big dreams for their whenua Māori

Nestled in the Waikato foothills of Waitetuna, sits Aramiro Ahu Whenua Trust, who are looking to develop their ancestral lands into an agricultural enterprise in the hopes to own their supply chain.

Published: Wednesday, 15 December 2021 | Rāapa, 15 Hakihea, 2021

The Trust Chairperson, Michelle Mariu Tai-Rakena, said they have a vision to future proof their whenua and drive environmentally sustainable, economic, and social outcomes for their landowners.

“We’re not just farmers, we have a vision where we will own our supply chain,” said Michelle.

The Trust have native and pine forests, farming and maize, enabling them to investigate the feasibility of five different land use options, thanks to the Whenua Māori Fund managed by Te Puni Kōkiri.

The studies, currently underway, are looking into native forestry ecology and resources available as well as future proofing the whenua for horticultural crop production, native nurseries, papakāinga housing, drought management and pine forest development opportunities.

Kere Hauraki, Te Puni Kōkiri Regional Advisor and former Advisor Ben Aves have been guiding the Trust through the project. Kere says Aramiro is unique in that they are undertaking five feasibility studies, which will enable them to diversify their land opportunities.

As part of the support from Te Puni Kōkiri, the trustees were also able to analyse their current state, vision plan and set in place their strategic goals.

“Te Puni Kokiri funding provided us the support to better understand, protect and grow, the advice we received from our regional advisors enabled us to connect with other services such as Tonkin & Taylor, the Ministry of Primary Industries and Ag Research,” said Michelle.

Aramiro Ahu Whenua Trust plans to continue their journey in diversifying and developing the whenua for their whānau landowners.

For more information about Aramiro Ahu Whenua Trust please go to www.aramiro.co.nz