Moana New Zealand will receive an $11 million funding boost from the Provincial Growth Fund to roll out "flip farming" technology that will allow for the commercial expansion of oyster production.
The production of Pacific oysters (tio) is expected to increase from 1.2 million dozen to two million dozen year-on-year by 2024.
Moana New Zealand, formally Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, is the country's largest Iwi-owned kaimoana and kai ora company.
Chief executive Steve Tarrant said the funding is to be invested in sustainable marine technology, infrastructure creation and the human capital required to facilitate that long-term.
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"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 consent currently.
"Last financial we were pleased to grow our tio business by 10 per cent, so the loan is also an acknowledgment of our value of whakatipuranga in safeguarding fisheries for future generations."
Oysters are placed in baskets and then submerged at various depths to grow, encouraged by the ocean's natural tidal movements. Flip farming replicates these movements by semi-automating the basket flipping process.
This is usually a manually laborious process requiring skilled workers year-round to turn baskets by hand during an oysters' 18-month growth cycle.
Fiona Wikaira, general manager operations – shellfish and meals, said early indications show more than 30 jobs at Parengarenga, Whangaroa, Coromandel and Orongo are expected.