A pōwhiri at Te Hora Marae marked the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Limited (NMIT) establishing a clear set of principles and purpose to guide the relationship.
The new Level 2 and 3 horticulture course is being run in conjunction with Ngāti Kuia and is based at Titiraukawa near Pelorus Bridge.
NMIT Chief Executive Wayne Jackson said it was a significant occasion and the work that Ngāti Kuia is doing is very exciting.
Under the arrangement NMIT is responsible for the enrolments, administration, tutorial staff and programme delivery and learner services.
Ngāti Kuia will market the programme, in conjunction with NMIT, and provide the physical facilities for the programme as well as delivery of mātauranga Māori content and pastoral care.
In the first week, programme staff reported that everyone was looking forward to learning and being part of the developments at Titiraukawa and throughout the whenua.
The course will incorporate teaching horticultural skills, including soil health, sustainable seed harvesting and organic pest control to support the Iwi vision to further develop their tribal lands in the Pelorus area.
Traditional Māori knowledge, specific to Ngāti Kuia will also be taught to strengthen the students’ connection to the Iwi and the land.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuia General Manager David Johnston says this is a very important initiative for the Iwi and for whānau.
“This new programme follows on from the successful Bee Husbandry courses that Ngāti Kuia has run at Titiraukawa, our Centre of Excellence, over the last few years.”