An iwi-owned native tree nursery has received almost $6 million funding from the government. The Regional Economic Development Minister announced the 3 year funding commitment to Ngāti Whare at the Bay of Plenty town of Minginui on Thursday. Shane Jones says the investment will allow the Minginui nursery to grow up to one million native trees every year and expand its current workforce from nine to 90. 

"Ka roa tēnei kāinga a Minginui e tāmi ana. I tēnei rā ka tupu ngā māhuri, ka tupu ngā rākau hōu, nā, ka tupu hoki te tangata." 

The minister says the extra funding will allow development opportunities for Ngāti Whare and whānau through the nursery. 

"Ko Minginui e pokea ana i tēnei rā mā roto i te ono miriona tāra, tata ki te ono, ngātahi me te rūnanga o Ngāti Whare, ka whakapikihia te wairua o te whānau me te tuputupu o ngā rākau." 

Mr Jones explained employment of rangatahi in the area was a key consideration for investing in the nursery. 

"He iti te iwi engari he nui te moemoeā me te mātotoru o te rangatahi e tatari ana kia hoki mai ki roto i te kapa whai mahi." 

Ngāti Whare has been operating the nursery for two years and Jones says it's already proven it can operate a nursery on commercial terms, employ and train local people.

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