Forestry Minister Shane Jones says the Government's One Billion Trees program is providing important Māori to realize the potential of their land in the Bay of Plenty.
"Crown Forestry will invest $5 million into two joint ventures that will see 330 hectares of land converted to productive forests," Shane Jones said.
"The first joint venture is 194 hectares owned by Pukahukiwi Kaokaoroa 2 Incorporation while a further 141 hectares are owned by Waipapa 2B2 Ahu Whenua Trust.
"These properties included eucalyptus crops which failed to realize an income for the landowners.
"One of the core goals of the One Billion Trees Programme is supporting Māori to realize their land aspirations. This goes right to the heart of that.
"Not only will these partnerships create an income for the Trusts through rental and a share of the profits at harvest, but there is also potential to upskill workers to eventually take over management of the forest from the Crown.
"Up to 235,000 trees will be planted on these two properties this season, with land preparation now underway.
"It brings Crown Forestry's investment in the Bay of Plenty to $6.3 million and takes the total number of joint ventures in New Zealand to 25, totaling over 15, 000 hectares," Shane Jones said.
(With Inputs from New Zealand Government Press Release)