March 8, 2019, 5:50 p.m.
Twenty young men from Kaikohe and Moerewa are set to start their journey in the forestry industry as trainees on the new Ngā Māhuri o Ngāti Hine Mānuka Plantation Training Program.
This is the first part of a 2yr program funded by the Billion Tree Fund through Te Uru Rākau and supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries Economic Development Unit. Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust is partnering with Johnson Contractors LTD to deliver a “learn while you earn” approach to L2 Forestry Training.
Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust Chair, Pita Tipene says “Ngā Māhuri o Ngāti Hine means The Saplings of Ngāti Hine; this is an industry training program which embodies the kaupapa of Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust Mission – He Ringa Ahuwhenua, He Hanga Mahi, to actively grow our assets. These akonga (learners) are our hapū and community assets”. Moreover, the planting of manuka is all about the Trust’s long term strategy of a mosaic approach that will see the lands being returned to native cover.
The program will see our trainees plant approx. 200ha of Mānuka seedlings on Ngāti Hine lands in 2019. In 2020, a course will run with another 20 trainees to plant additional Ngāti Hine lands up to a total of 400+ ha.
Jack Johnson of Johnson Contractors is an experienced industry based trainer. “Partnering with Ngāti Hine Forestry Trust is an exciting opportunity for us; trainees will strengthen their connection to Te Ao Maori, receive wrap around pastoral support and learn while they