Press Release January 2021 Iwi Trust Board to exit Dairy Farming in Otaki

An iwi Trust Board based in Otaki is making significant changes in 2021 to its land-based farming operations, changes that reflect its commitment to the environment and to future generations.The historic Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board, having managed dairy farming operations in Otaki for a hundred years will exit dairy-farming on Tasman Road, Otaki, at the end of the current season. Its strategic planning over the past three years has reinforced a commitment to Kaitiakitanga following a growing appreciation of the sensitivity of land located between the town and the beach.Chairperson of the Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board (OPTB) Rachael Selby said in the past three years, in developing a strategic plan, the Board had researched land use options across all its holdings. “It is now in a position to implement significant changes.”Ms Selby said the negative environmental impacts that result from current farming practices on whenua owned by the OPTB will be reduced. The Board can exercise Kaitiakitanga of the land, respect to the iwi owners and the community by proactively reducing the impacts of dairy farming in Otaki. We expect the iwi and the community will recognise the growing acceptance of the need for all landowners to take meaningful steps to restore the environment for future generations.The board is conscious of its responsibilities to protect land and water, environmental health and the wellbeing of its people that include the beneficiaries, stakeholders and wider community. It also recognises its financial responsibilities and requirement to provide educational scholarships to students.General Manager Troy Hobson said the Board will relocate its dairy operation to the established dairy farming area at Manakau. He noted the Board is demonstrating both its commitment to Te Mana o te Wai and to managing its environmental footprint into the future.He supports the Board’s decision and commented that it reflects a broad attitude of doing no harm to the land, water and environment. “It’s a brave decision for a traditional farming entity and is a proactive step towards reducing the negative environmental impacts from our commercial activities.”Mr Hobson said that increasing urbanisation on Tasman Road could see some form of land use change that may include the provision of housing solutions.The Board has noted that Iwi members have increasingly called for environmental sustainability and support proactive changes that reflect human relationships with the land.Background:The Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board is a registered charitable non-profit organisation created under the Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Act 1943. The Board has 10 members who are appointed by the Governor General; five of whom represent the Diocesan Trusts Board, four representing the Raukawa Marae Trustees, and one representing the Ministry of Education.The Boards current core business is land based asset management (including dairy farming, land leases and rental properties). The income generated is applied to its scholarship funds, making available scholarships for post-primary education to members up to the age of 20 who whakapapa to the three Iwi of Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.EndEnquiries: Troy Hobson, GM021930346

troy.hobson@optb.org.nz

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