Contributing to Te Ao Māori at scale

December 19, 2022

A Pacific Channel tradition, when we achieve something that we’re particularly proud of, is to put up a painting by New Zealand artist Peter Beadle on the walls of our office.

About five years ago, we did two things – firstly, we resolved to find the best way to contribute our skills and networks to help Māori at scale. Secondly, we commissioned this Peter Beadle painting hoping that one day, we’d be able to put it on the wall because we’d achieved ‘something meaningful’.

This painting is now proudly displayed on our wall.

In October 2021 we conceptualised and assisted its Māori management to establish Tāmata Hauhā to help Māori land, its people, and their prosperity –he whenua, he tangāta, he taurikura.

An estimated million hectares of land across Aotearoa is classified as unfarmable because it’s erosion-prone, too steep or inaccessible. The introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme [ETS] has opened up new opportunities for this land –turning it into native forestry to make it a highly productive asset for the landowner.

Understanding that a significant amount of Māori land is classified as marginal, or low in its productive sense, and also knowing the value of carbon, Tāmata Hauhā partners with Māori landowners to help restore underutilised land holdings by planting native and exotic (especially for initial canopy cover) trees for apiculture, agroforestry and agriculture and the carbon credit market. Importantly, TāmataHauhā makes sure the land is prosperous as well as the people.  

Over the past 12 months, Tāmata Hauhā has invested in 15 Maori incorporations and trusts, their whenua, people, future prosperity, and the outcomes they want to achieve. From the Far North to the Catlins, 2 million trees have been planted for carbon sequestration, improving biodiversity, Rongoa (medicinal) purposes, as well as transitioning scrub or exotics over a 30+- year period back to native forest.

Led by Blair Jamieson and Lance Iwikau, Tāmata Hauhā works with Māori landowners to provide strategies and practical funding to develop unproductive land into productive assets.  It is a true partnership in every sense of the word. In return for making the land available, Tāmata Hauhāprovides the landowner with the funding and support required to establish their forest. Once planted, the area is registered with the ETS to earn valuable carbon credits that can be traded or sold to organisations needing credits to offset their carbon emissions.

The profits are initially shared 50:50, and at the end of an agreed timeframe, Māori landowners retain unencumbered 100% of the profits from the productive asset.  This partnership arrangement eliminates the risk for whenua while improving the value of their land, using carbon as the enabler.  

We are incredibly proud of our involvement in Tāmata Hauhā and the assistance we have provided to the management team to make a meaningful difference to Māori, which we expect will grow significantly over time.

You can find out more about Tāmata Hauhā here: https://tamata.co.nz/