Māori Agribusiness Extension (MABx) Programme
The Māori Agribusiness Extension (MABx) Programme opened for business on 1 July 2019 and will run for 4 years. Find out about this new option for how Māori can partner with MPI.
The aim of MABx
Our aim is to help you, as a trustee of Māori land or agribusiness, to connect with others and get the information you need to confidently undertake change.
MABx focuses on providing shared, group-learning opportunities, exploring sustainable system changes. Delivery of outcomes will have strong environmental and economic outputs.
Working with clusters
MABx offers an agricultural extension approach, because we recognise landowners, trustees and managers get a lot of value from being able to develop their ideas, understanding and plans over a period of time through shared learning experiences.
MABx will support Māori land and agribusiness trusts to group together as a cluster. This cluster will collaborate or collectivise to work towards a common business goal or agreed outcomes.
We are open-minded about how a cluster comes together. For example, you may be an existing group of neighbours, or we might introduce you to other landowners or businesses because you've been asking similar questions.
MABx will provide access to the information and support a cluster needs. A cluster may want to learn more about a topic area such as growing, processing, and marketing food, fibre or bio products. Working together to increase their scale or leverage is also a possibility.
The MABx programme is built on research into what works for Māori, and the experience of MPI and our regional staff.
Once we've accepted a proposal, we will work with you to formally set up the cluster.
MABx clusters underway
On 1 October 2019, the first 2 clusters were announced.
The Whangaparaoa Māori Lands Trust is a grouping of 20 Māori land organisations that are looking to explore the potential of their land. Together they will investigate a range of land-use options.
We are also partnering with DairyNZ to deliver a MABx extension programme to the MABx EBOP Dairy cluster – 6 Māori dairy farms located between Torere and Whangaparaoa. They are quite a distance from many services, which has implications for their farming activities. This group is looking to make system changes to future-proof their farming operations.
The Raukokore Cluster project, which also started on 1 October, is supporting 41 Māori land blocks into high-value horticulture. This Cluster will work together to establish gold kiwifruit orchards on a significant portion of the land, supported by existing Māori kiwifruit growers from the rohe.
The difference between MABx and MAPIP
This new approach sits alongside MPI's existing Māori Agribusiness Pathway to Increased Productivity (MAPIP) programme. The key difference is MAPIP offers a one-on-one approach where that is appropriate. That may be because there is no-one else with similar enough questions or interests at that time for a cluster to be set up or you are in a different development phase.
What you need to participate in MABx
In principle, to participate in MABx you will:
- be interested in exploring options for achieving your wider aspirations through introducing a new farming or growing system, or changing an existing one
- be willing to make changes that apply best environmental practice
- have assets that are administered for Māori benefit under a formal ownership structure
- have a functioning governance body and be able to get a mandate to participate
- be willing to go through an extension delivery process, committing time, effort, and expertise to make it work
- be willing to share information and insights with others.
Our network of staff located regionally will act as your first contact point. They will spend time getting to know you and developing a picture together of what you need and how we can help.
To find out more: