In 2006 Nofima (then Akvaforsk) performed a feasibility study on the possibilities for fish farming for Ngati Ranganui iwi.
Ngati Ranginui wanted to develop a business that would:
- be self sufficient (economically and ecologically sustainable in its own right)
- be initiated on tribal land or on lands of trusted partners of Ngati Ranginui
- provide good opportunities for local employment, community engagement and skill development
- include scope for staged expansion if successful (either through further development of the facility established at one location or through the construction of further facilities at other locations)
- include scope for local value-adding activities if feasible (eg. smoking or other processing activities etc) or linked activities (eg. education, supply of fingerlings for restocking or farming, tourism),
- be export oriented
- integrate Maori customs and culture in such a way that development of the business is not hindered, while still maintaining Maori identity
- allow for staged development (when first block is successful, add further building blocks, first block will be the most costly)
- be open to opportunities for research and commercial partnerships which benefit the business
With this in mind, Nofima representatives Arne Kittelsen and Nick Robinson held meetings with local tribes and comunity organisations and made recommendations about how to build up a fish farming business. Our recommendations included initial species, type of production and locality, initial scale of production, and how the business could be expanded.