Ko te parehua o Te Reureu : the Te Reureu terrace : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Soil Science at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The Reureu Valley is distinctive with several enclaves from various iwi living there; Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kahungunu and Tūwharetoa. The history of the valley shows several hapū migrating there due to broader land conflicts and to protect their land interests. The Reureu blocks lie within the rohe of Ngāti Pikiahu hapū o Ngāti Raukawa near Poupatate Marae.
Māori land development has the potential to contribute significantly to the agricultural sector. In a report conducted by the then Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2011, 40% of Māori freehold land was under-preforming with a further 40% under-utilised. The large number of Māori land blocks underdeveloped or underperforming means there is considerable room for development. Māori land development is not simple; many aspects from multiple ownership through to governance structures have inhibited growth. However, a recent dairy conversion has seen the collaboration of trusts, incorporations with land interests and government bodies to develop and accelerate a transformation of Māori land.
The Reureu blocks studied are currently under-developed and have owners wanting to look at possible land-use options. This includes research on what information is presently available; the quality of this information; and areas where information is lacking relative to make an informed decision about a change in land-use. Subsequently a determination of the information gaps was made.
A practical assessment of the resource was deemed necessary. Soil surveying was then conducted on the Reureu blocks. It was discovered that the soils previously mapped on these blocks were not found in this exercise, triggering the need for a full and extensive land evaluation approach.
Land evaluation tools were then used to assess the land, to ensure or aid the decision making in a type of land-use for the Reureu blocks. Land evaluation tools included LRI mapping, LUC mapping and suitability of six important features. Nutrient Management is a key issue when dealing with contemporary land-use, and the Reureu blocks lie
within Horizons Regional Council region and regulations. Limits of leaching and consent conditions were therefore looked at for the potential of developing a dairy farm.
The conversion into dairy was preferred by the hapū therefore further investigation was carried out which is considered vital to a dairy platform. An assessment of FDE application, irrigation requirement (irrigation benefit), presence of stones, pugging susceptibility, potential use for cropping (presence of stones inhibiting crop growth), flood risk and nutrient budgets was made. Various computer models including Farmax and Overseer were used to gain realistic results to best represent the Reureu blocks as a dairy platform. The outcome is a body of knowledge the Reureu land owners can access for their due-diligence process.