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China Daily Website

Maori community hails dairy deal with Chinese firm

Updated: 2013-04-09 17:33
( Xinhua)

WELLINGTON - Shanghai Pengxin, the Chinese firm that fought a long and bitter court battle last year to win the right to buy 16 New Zealand dairy farms, on Tuesday signed a deal with a Maori-owned milk processing plant to make products for the Chinese market.

Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples congratulated dairy processor Miraka on entering into a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Pengxin to produce UHT (ultra-heat treated) milk from the Chinese firm's farms.

"This celebration today is the result of building solid relationships between two organizations and two cultures, which have resulted in a partnership of mutual benefit," Sharples, who attended the signing in Shanghai, said in a statement from his office.

The agreement supported Maori investment in the dairy industry, which could had flow-on effects for other Maori businesses, he said.

It was an example of how Maori businesses could contribute to economic outcomes in practice, and had its origins in previous Maori delegations to China, he said.

Two Maori trusts were part of the group that offered a counter bid for the 16 North Island farms and took ultimately unsuccessful court action against decisions by New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office and the government to approve Shanghai Pengxin's purchase.