Māori Economy

Māori are major stakeholders and contributors to economic growth in the wider Bay of Plenty region


The value and potential of the Māori economy is recognised across industries such as forestry, energy, aquaculture, freight logistics, and sport and recreation.
The majority of the Māori asset base falls within Rotorua and Taupō, with most of it controlled from Rotorua.
We work directly with iwi to develop viable opportunities that provide sustainable investment for their hapū and whānau. We also collaborate with organisations and committees by providing input for the likes of the National Māori Economic Development Strategy and Bay of Connections Māori Strategy.


With iwi groups such as Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings and Rotoma No 1 Incorporation investing in landscape-changing commercial building projects, Destination Rotorua is working to maximise the associated benefits of these projects to the wider region. This includes planning and connections for education and training, staffing, planning, and social procurement.
We’re also exploring the establishment of an overarching support group for Māori land interests in Rotorua that bring together a single point of focus for the wide range of opportunities being considered.
This is comprised of three groups: assets of trusts, incorporations and other Māori entities of $10.7billion; businesses of self-employed Māori of $5.4billion; and businesses of Māori employers of $20.8billion.
The Ministry for Primary Industries engaged Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to identify the extent of unutilised and under-utilised Māori-owned land across New Zealand. PWC estimated a total of 1.2 million hectares in those combined categories of which ‘a good proportion’ was suitable for forestry.
Several opportunities exist for this land to be developed for a range of uses, particularly building on iwi long-term view of resource management and land utilisation. Some options being explored include kauri trees (50-year rotations), pines (25 years), mānuka, and ginseng and other under-story crops.

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