In a town famous for its oysters Ngāi Tahu Seafood has opened a new processing plant for prized catch from the waters around Bluff.
“This is the fishing village of Ngāi Tahu, so to speak,” said CEO Joseph Thomas, “Over 50% of our high value products are harvested here from these waters, in the pristine waters of the Deep South.”
The plant has the capacity to keep seven thousand crayfish in water ponds before shipping them out within 24 hours.
The company’s operations manager, Andrew Peti, said they’re working towards exporting fresh product to a hungry market.
“Getting product to market in the best quality that we can would be the ultimate aim and then we look to grow that in terms of our volumes at a later stage.”
Iwi leader Sir Tipene O’Regan officially opened the plant. He said what’s important is that the iwi’s business has made itself at home within the industry.
“For me, it was hugely important, to us in our community here, is that it’s our own land, it’s freehold and we own our own space and our own footprint on our own harbour edge again - which we haven’t done for two or three generations, and that’s pretty significant.”
Currently there are 28 to 30 staff, but they plan to expand operations in the future to increase capacity.