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Government's $100m policy: 'Huge potential' for Māori land

Author
Newstalk ZB ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 4 February 2019, 8:36p.m.
Horticulture and agriculture are seen as some of the possibilities for land under the new Government funding scheme. (Photo / File)

The Government's putting up $100 million for Māori land owners to develop their land.

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says it will enable Māori to access capital to progress projects and improve prospects on their land.

The Government says 80-percent of Māori land in the regions is under-utilised.

Jones says as the Government creates opportunities in the regions, it will bring young people back to the marae by rolling out what’s taken for granted in metropolitan centres.

"We don't want to learn that you've all gone to Australia and you're kids all sound like Aussies. We want you to commit to living in rural New Zealand," he said in a speech today. 

Maori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki told Larry Williams that there is huge potential for this land and for the communities.

“There is a significant of underdeveloped Maori land where you can build everything from businesses to enterprise and industry.

“The benefit of that, if we get this model right, it will create jobs in those regions where there is high rates of unemployment.”

He says there have been schemes done in isolation but never anything on this scale before. 

Tukaki says that a lot of people tend to put projects like this in the "too hard" basket, and that many banks don't want to give out loans for this land. 

He says that in the regions there are a lot of smaller iwis that don't have access to the same funds as the larger tribes. 

"We're talking about some of the most economically deprived regions of the country."

ON AIR: Marcus Lush Nights

8p.m. - 11:59p.m.