Ngāti Porou Mīere fulfilling goals
Ngāti Porou Mīere is on their way to fulfilling a goal of having greater influence over the mānuka honey produced on their land.
Their product is recognised as the highest quality honey in the country and is highly coveted overseas.
Victor Goldsmith of Ngāti Porou Mīere says there are benefits of consolidating Māori land under a shared vision.
“This is where it all starts from. We've got the mānuka resource here; we've bought all our own hives with the land blocks. The source is right here.”
The beehives are on the Tarere land blocks near Te Araroa.
Goldsmith adds the mānuka flourishes here providing nectar for the bees that in turn produce a high-value product.
“The UMF is probably up around the 15's and 20's. Probably shouldn't say that on TV because it'll probably get some other people coming over this area. Very good quality honey, that drives the price.”
Ngāti Porou Mīere was established three years ago to ensure Māori shareholders have some control of the money that's produced on their land.
“People are coming from afar to sites like this trying to entice our landowners to have a deal with them. It tends to only go to the farm gate and you end up being a landlord collecting a rental. So for Ngāti Porou and for our land blocks around here, it was important that we control that.”
Tārere is one of 15 land blocks in the Ngāti Porou Mīere collective with 1000 pallets of honey having been produced by the landowners themselves who are also enjoying the sweet taste of success they're receiving back for their efforts.
“We're looking at turning over close to $800,000 from those hives. Our costs are obviously paying for our beekeepers and everything else to run the business.”
Things will get easier once the issue around the identification of mānuka honey is settled.
“It's important that we can move the majority of the honey and the mānuka honey definition. We know that we've got mānuka around here and I think that the chemical markers that Ministry of Primary Industries have chosen if they didn't make the change then we might have been adversely affected by that.”
From the land to the factory and heading out to overseas markets, it's all a physical manifestation of rangatiratanga that iwi holds over their taonga.