AgResearch has forged a close collaboration with Ngāti Porou, the second-largest iwi in New Zealand, designed to initiate social and cultural benefits to iwi and communities in Aotearoa.
During 2017 and 2018, AgResearch and members of businesses owned by Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou developed a culturally responsive tool called “Whaowhia te kete mātauranga” or “Fill your basket of knowledge”. The tool is being used at hui to explore the cultural provenance and value-add of Māori agribusiness value chains.
The follow-on project, “Transition mapping of Ngāti Porou food and fibre products to novel value chains”, was funded by MBIE’s Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund and AgResearch’s Māori Agribusiness Strategic Science Investment Fund in 2018/19.
Building on previous research, this project developed transition maps for real-world Māori agribusinesses based on co-innovation principles. In the partnership with Ngāti Porou, a number of business units within Ngāti Porou Group Holding Ltd (NPGHL) were used as exemplars in the project:
- Ngāti Porou Seafoods Ltd – fishery and processing;
- Ngāti Porou Miere – honey production;
- Pakihiroa Farms Ltd (PFL) – red meat and wool production;
- Ngāti Porou Forestry – forestry and log production and export.
These business units executed transition maps to:
- Move some of their products into new value chains;
- Modify and/or extend their level of participation in existing value chains in response to rapidly evolving opportunities and threats;
- Leverage new and existing business arrangements to broaden their offering to value chain partners; and
- Underpin open, honest and transparent discussions with other entities within a potential value chain.
In particular, Ngāti Porou and Air New Zealand established a relationship to expand tourism on the East Cape and contract a carbon offset deal. This relationship was then strengthened. It opened up new value chain opportunities that resulted in some of Ngāti Porou’s primary products (e.g., smoked fish and mānuka honey) being included in Air New Zealand’s supply chain.
These successful “low risk” transitions have enabled NPGHL to gain confidence in transition mapping and plan further improvements of its supply chains in line with its cultural values.