Tribal development is key for strengthening iwi

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Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has announced another strong year-end result, with an increase in net worth in excess of $1b enabling the iwi to lift its annual distribution to a new high.

A record net profit of $145.87m for the year was also announced for the Te Rūnanga Group (post distribution activities) and a $160.58m profit was announced by Ngāi Tahu Holdings, which is the commercial arm of the iwi.

Kaiwhakahaere Tā Mark Solomon explains that because the iwi distribution is not linked to profit, but to net wealth, reaching $1b net worth is a significant milestone. “When we determine our annual distribution, we use a spending rule that is similar to long-term spending rules used by organisations like the Yale Endowment Trust – it reflects our methodical approach to intergenerational wealth creation to support increased distribution to our people and our tribal programmes,” says Tā Mark. “Last year we announced that our asset base had exceeded $1b, however, having a net worth in excess of $1b is of much greater significance and I am proud that we have reached it less than 20 years after our Settlement. Our distribution rose from $28.25m to $31.36m and we expect it will continue to keep rising steadily.” There has been $320m invested in tribal development since Settlement.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is implementing an outcomes based framework for its tribal development activities focused on four key areas of development: Wellbeing – Oranga, Knowledge – Matauranga, Environment – Te Ao Tūroa and Culture and Identity – Ngāi Tahutanga. This will allow the iwi to more accurately determine the success of projects and initiatives.

New initiatives for the year include the development of a small-scale pilot housing process that aims to support whānau into homes. A three-home pilot project is underway in Christchurch and is due for completion next year.

Also, Whenua Kura, a training programme to encourage young Māori into dairy farming began earlier in the year with 13 students on board for the inaugural course. The programme is a partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Lincoln University and Ngāi Tahu Farming. It builds on the success of the Māori pre-trade training programme He Toki ki te Rika – another partnership programme involving CPIT and Hawkins.

“In announcing these results I must acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our commercial operations for delivering the returns that enable us to deliver to our whānau,” says Tā Mark.

The Ngāi Tahu commercial operations have performed exceptionally well once again, celebrating yet another record result and a solid performance across all businesses.

Ngāi Tahu Holdings Chair, Trevor Burt says, “It’s been an outstanding performance right across the Group with particularly strong results coming from the ongoing demand for residential property in Christchurch, growth in our dairy operations at Eyrewell, a record result for Seafood and a much improved year for Tourism.”

The key financial results for Ngāi Tahu Holdings were:

Net Operating Surplus: $82.98m
Total Net Profit: $160.58m
Operating Return on Equity: 9.02%
Total Return on Equity: 23.14%

“What’s really exciting about our strong balance sheet is that it affords us the opportunity to explore new investment opportunities. The purchase of Waikato Milking Systems with partners Tainui Group Holdings and Pioneer Capital and most recently, Go Bus, are two strategic new investments we made during 2014 that we believe have enormous potential,” says Trevor Burt.

Tā Mark Solomon says, “While we celebrate this successful result, it is not a time to sit back; this solid foundation provides the momentum for us to look to the future and the potential opportunities that exist to empower and enable our people. We look forward to the positive challenges that lie ahead for us as an organisation.”

View the 2014 Annual Report.


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