Thursday, March 5, 2009
As I’ve travelled around the eighteen different Ngai Tahu iwi over the last four years with my journalist hat on, I’ve always been surprised and delighted by the wide variety of enterprises many of them have launched into. Take Hokonui Runanga at Gore for instance. Nine years ago they took over an old nursery on the edge of town, complete with barns and turned it into their new Marae. It’s set on 18 acres of semi-rural land and blessed with poplar windbreaks and assorted work sheds, it’s turned out to have a heap of potential. They’ve already trialled and successfully grown Maori potato varieties and now they’ve moved on to the growing and export of gentian flowers. They’ve got around eight acres planted out and most of their crop heads into Asia.