Air NZ partners with iwi to drive economic growth

Ngāti Porou and Air New Zealand have signed a Partnership Agreement aimed at generating further economic and social growth in Tairāwhiti Gisborne.

Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou Chief Executive Officer Herewini Te Koha says the iwi and the airline have worked closely together for several years and are now formalising their partnership with a joint aspiration to see Tairāwhiti Gisborne and its people meet their potential.

"The agreement is significant from a commercial partnership perspective for Ngāti Porou. We see a real alignment of values between Ngāti Porou, Air New Zealand and its leadership," says Mr Te Koha.

Some of the key elements of the partnership that will be managed by Ngāti Porou Holding Company are:

  • Ngāti Porou will develop a Mount Hikurangi tourism experience that Air New Zealand will market internationally.

  • Ngāti Porou will sell carbon credits to Air New Zealand from its forest estates on the East Coast, increasing the domestic forestry options available for Air New Zealand to meet its ETS obligations.

  • Air New Zealand will support Ngāti Porou as it seeks to expand its commercial partnerships domestically and offshore, including providing business leads into supplier networks. And where commercially practicable the airline will include the iwi's primary products in its own supply chain.

  • Air New Zealand will supply resources to support Ngāti Porou environmental and conservation efforts.

  • Ngāti Porou and Air New Zealand will create a talent sharing programme where individuals from each other's organisation can either gain new skills or share those they have to help the professional development of others.

Mr Te Koha says Ngāti Porou respects Air New Zealand’s sustainability strategy, which is aligned to the airline's purpose of supercharging New Zealand's success socially, environmentally and economically.

"Through its partnership with Ngāti Porou the national airline is demonstrating that inclusive regional development and sustainable tourism are key aspects of its sustainability strategy. We are confident that by working more closely together we can drive tourism flows into Tairāwhiti and Turanganui a Kiwa, grow exports from our region and create more jobs. This will all help us to make the social and economic gains we want for Tairāwhiti."

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the agreement signing with Ngāti Porou opens a new chapter in the role that the airline can play in supporting the aspirations of iwi around the country.

"Ngāti Porou has been a fantastic partner over the past few years and we both believe that Tairāwhiti Gisborne is one of the jewels in the New Zealand tourism proposition that is yet to meet its potential. Alongside this the region is one of the key agricultural centres in New Zealand whether it be for its world-renowned wine, fishery or Manuka honey production. We are excited to be able to work with both Ngāti Porou and other local stakeholders in a coordinated way to create what promises to be an exciting new model for regional economic development," Mr Luxon says.

Mr Luxon and Mr Te Koha signed the Partnership Agreement at Whangara marae in front of Ngāti Porou representatives and the Air New Zealand Board, which is in Tairāwhiti-Gisborne meeting with stakeholders over two days.