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Ngati Hine Forests seeks gold in kiwifruit

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Ngati Hine Forest trust has bought a kiwifruit orchard in Kerikeri from industry giant Seeka.

Chair Pita Tipene says the purchase of the 7.8 hectare Pukerau Orchard for $3 million means the trust now has 43.5 hectares of kiwifruit in the area.

Seeka will continue to manage the block, which was replanted in the SunGold variety three years ago and should come into full production this year.

The cooperative is developing a pack house at Waipapa and sold off about 60 hectares of orchards in the area.

Mr Tipene says Ngati Hine is keen to develop a strong partnership with Seeka, including creating job opportunities for its people.

He says getting certainty over future plans for replanting its forests through a partnership with the government’s provincial growth fund means it was able to raise the funds needed for the purchase, which is part of a longstanding plan to diversify its assets.

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