Moana New Zealand is set to create 30 new jobs and grow their Pacific oyster production from 1.2 million dozen to two million dozen per year, by upgrading their farms with the FlipFarm technology.
The upgrade has been made possible with an $11 million Provincial Growth Fund loan facility, that Moana Chief Executive Steve Tarrant says will make their operations more efficient and less labour intensive.
“We’re really pleased to have secured regional funding which is to be invested in sustainable marine technology, infrastructure creation and the human capital required to facilitate that long-term,” Mr Tarrant said.
“Implementation of the project is expected to smoothly navigate resource consent processes, with Northland Regional Council already providing written approval and Waikato Regional Council reviewing consents currently.
“Last financial year we were pleased to grow our tio (oyster) business by ten per cent, so the loan is also an acknowledgment of our value of whakatipuranga in safeguarding fisheries for future generations,” he says.
Fiona Wikaira, General Manager Operations – Shellfish and Meals, said permanent, full-time employment positions were expected to become available throughout regions in which Moana New Zealand farms and harvests oysters.
“Early indications show more than 30 jobs at Parengarenga, Whangaroa, Coromandel, Orongo and Kerikeri, which we’re obviously happy to announce in the context of this difficult year.
“We’re committed to continue delivery of talent pipelines as part of our 2023 aspirational oyster plan,” says Wikaira.
Moana New Zealand will utilise the Provincial Growth Fund loan facility to remove historic infrastructure, purchase and construct ‘FlipFarm’ componentry, commission contractors, ensure water quality standards are met and conduct training.
Increased processing capacity and implementation of new packaging technology – which isn’t subject to Provincial Growth Funding – in Moana New Zealand’s Wiri plant may also create more jobs.