Ngāi Tahu Commercialism

The Vision:
Our dream is that commercial success is the wind in the sails of our tribal development. The goal is that our commercial growth supports our perpetual tribal development journey.

Ngāi Tahu has a proud history of commerce and trade reaching back hundreds of years. Prior to colonisation Ngāi Tahu underpinned the inter-tribal pounamu trade and later embraced international commerce through strong involvement in New Zealand’s early whaling and agricultural industries.

Through regaining access to significant capital Ngāi Tahu has once again embraced its heritage of commerce in new areas including property, seafood and tourism.

Ngāi Tahu has been engaged in modern day commercial activities, particularly since the late 1950s when the Ngāi Tahu Māori Trust Board had income of about $20,000 per year with which to balance its investment and distribution aspirations. Even in those early days the decision-makers recognised the need to reinvest to grow the pūtea and chose to put in place an aggressive reinvestment policy – reinvesting about two thirds of the income while maintaining a tightly focused distribution policy aimed at providing support to tribal members through the likes of education grants and scholarships.

In 1998, as a result of the Ngāi Tahu Claim Settlement Act, Ngāi Tahu received a settlement sum of $170m. It also received subsequent sums from fisheries, aquaculture and relativity settlements valued at $152m. Balanced reinvestment and consistent distribution followed the receipt of these funds. As a result, the tribal asset base stands at $1.2b and over $320m has been distributed to support tribal programmes.

Our commercial operations are the financial engine to support our intergenerational tribal journey, and are also returning the iwi to being
the backbone of the South Island economy. Annually, we contribute over $200m to the South Island economy through job creation, purchasing and spending our profits locally.

Investment Stories

Mark Tume appointed chair of Ngāi Tahu Holdings

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai has announced the appointment of Mark Tume (Ngāti Maru ki Taranaki, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) as chair of the board of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited. The chair appointment is for a three year term and is effective from August 1, 2018. We are thrilled to have someone of…

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Continued growth in tribal wealth marks 20-year milestone

The wealth of Ngāi Tahu continues to grow, 20 years on from the settlement of our claim with the Crown, with a net profit of $126.8m achieved for the year ended 30 June 2017. The strong profit growth of Ngāi Tahu Holdings has enabled a direct distribution of $49.6m to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu which…

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Exciting opportunity for Kristen Kohere-Soutar

Kristen Kohere-Soutar (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou and Rongowhakaata) is set to move from being the Chair of Whai Rawa to take up a new challenge on the board of Mercer New Zealand. Mercer is one of the world’s leading firms for superannuation, investments, health and human resources consulting and products. Martin Lewington, Chief Executive Officer,…

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Recovery of ancestral land celebrated at Pita Te Hori Centre opening

On the road to settlement, a team of astute negotiators set up the Ngāi Tahu Land Bank – an arrangement with the Crown which gave the tribe the opportunity to ‘bank’ land that was surplus to Crown requirements in order to prevent it from being sold. This was an innovative solution which freed up Ngāi…

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Funding announced for state-of-the-art facility in Tekapo

Earth & Sky Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Earth & Sky and Ngāi Tahu Tourism, has welcomed today’s announcement from Prime Minister John Key that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will co-fund the construction of an International Astronomy Centre on the shores of Lake Tekapo, through its Tourism Growth Partnership. The…

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