Waiariki Iwi secure funding to dive deeper into sustainable aquaculture

Ngā Iwi i te rohe o Waiariki (NIOW) has secured an additional $600,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to take their large-scale sustainable Māori aquaculture project to the next stage.

The project, led by Te Arawa Fisheries, on behalf of NIOW, will explore how to build on thriving aquaculture industries and create high-value jobs in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, and aims to produce two investment-ready proposals to enable NIOW to partner with iwi and other investors to pursue aquaculture ventures.

“This investment reinforces the major opportunities aquaculture presents for the region, and enables us to meet the growing demand for locally-sourced kaimoana,” says NIOW Chair Chris Karamea Insley.

A highlight will be iwi representatives’ participation in Te Haerenga Ahumoana 2023, an exclusive four-day aquaculture tour providing a deep-dive into Aotearoa New Zealand’s thriving and innovative aquaculture industry.

“These representatives will have the opportunity to observe international-standard aquaculture operations first-hand, and take that knowledge back to their iwi, hapū, marae and whānau,” says Insley.

“Exposing our people to global best-practice equips iwi with the knowledge and networks to lead this mahi locally, while empowering iwi to make sustainable choices that shape both our industry and communities for generations.

“Additionally, this project will provide iwi with valuable knowledge and insights as we progress through the aquaculture settlements within our rohe.”

The additional funding and overarching project promises transformational benefits beyond aquaculture by developing models of sustainable best practices that can be applied across various Māori enterprises.

More information, including regular updates and an outline of all the stages of the project, can be found on the Smart Māori aquaculture website.

Main image source: Te Ohu Kaimoana website.

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