New partnership forged with Wakatū

Development of opportunities in food and fibre, and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of the environment, are at the heart of a new partnership between Wakatū and AgResearch

AgResearch recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wakatū, whose purpose is to preserve and enhance its legacy for the benefit of current and future generations – those whānau and hapū who comprise the customary Māori owners of Whakatū (Nelson), Motueka and Mōhua (Golden Bay).

AgResearch’s Pou Ārahi Ahuwhenua (Sector Manager Māori Agribusiness), Ariana Estoras, says the agreement with Wakatū builds on the work the two organisations are already doing together on research into potential new fermented foods.

In connection to this agreement, some of AgResearch’s team recently went sample collecting for kawakawa in Te Tauihu (top of the South Island). Kawakawa was utilised traditionally by Māori for many purposes including medicinal.

As an example of the science being progressed, working alongside AuOra, which is a business owned by Wakatū, AgResearch scientists are investigating bacteria present in the plant to see how it might contribute unique Aotearoa flavours and textures.

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