Maungatapu blueberry farm visit

Maungatapu is a whānau owned enterprise built around creating a whānau owned business, that provides employment and skills development for whānau, on whānau owned land.

Our Engagement and Partnerships tīma (team) spent an invaluable visit at Maungatapu blueberry farm in Morrinsville in the Waikato rohe (area) in September.

Maungatapu built their blueberry farm from the ground up, often learning how to do things the hard way, learning the skills they needed on the job. They spoke of the impact that living on the land their tipuna (ancestors) had lived on, working with their whānau, and the awhi (support) and aroha they experience every day had on their mahi.

Innovation and ingenuity can be seen in the new systems they have developed, drawing on kaumatua knowledge about the original water source and how to construct the blueberry tunnels make the most of that source.

The tīma heard that the workplace was a safe and supportive place for a daughter with disabilities to be cared for and to make a meaningful contribution. And of the value of an enterprise that had been developed in such a way that the fruit would look after itself when kaimahi (staff) needed to go and support the wider whānau with tangihanga and other commitments.

We are committed to developing relationships, working in partnership with the common goal of improving the vocational outcomes for ākonga (learners) and their whānau. We want Māori ākonga and their whānau to see a limitless future for themselves, have clear pathways to achieving that future, and to be part of iwi, hapū, and industry growth.