Ngāi Tahu Seafood Appointment



E te uri a Ngāti Mutunga, nāia te karanga kia hou mai ki Te Whare o Te Waipounamu, haere mai rā, tauti mai rā.


Ngāi Tahu Seafood Chair, Craig Ellison has announced today the appointment of Joseph Thomas (Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri, Te Ati Awa), as its new Chief Executive. Joseph who will take up the position on 4 April comes with an extensive background in executive and senior management roles and directorships


“We are excited to have Joseph join the Ngāi Tahu Seafood team. His knowledge of and experience in the industry – gained both in employment roles and as a director – will be a huge asset. This, coupled with his proven leadership ability and whānau connections to fishing, makes him a perfect fit with our values and our business.


“I am looking forward to working with him to continue the good work happening in our fishing company.”


Born and bred on the Chatham Islands, Joseph is no stranger to fishing. His whānau have been in the industry for many years and he began his working life as a crew member onboard a rock lobster vessel; and then became skipper before heading away to Waikato University in 1988.  He returned to the Chathams in 1991 to join the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust where he spent 15 years as CEO. Most recently Joseph was the CEO of Development West Coast based in Greymouth.


Joseph currently holds a number of directorships: Chair, Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Asset Holding Company Ltd, Trustee, Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust, Deputy Chair, West Coast District Health Board, Director, Port Nicholson Fisheries General Partner Ltd and Kōura Inc General Partner Ltd.


In 2000 Joseph was the Southern Regional and National NZIM/IBM New Zealand Young Executive of the Year and in 2002, the ICANZ Young Chartered Accountant for the upper South Island region. He holds a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in accounting and economics from the University of Waikato, is a Chartered Accountant and an Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management Southern Inc.


Career highlights include:

CEO, Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust, Senior Business Consultant at Polson Higgs, CEO, New Zealand Institute of Management Southern Inc and most recently CEO, Development West Coast.


Previous directorships include:

Te Kawai Taumata, Economic Development Agencies of New Zealand, deputy chair and board member, The Canterbury Community Trust (ministerial appointment), member, Committee of Representatives for the review of the Māori Fisheries Settlement,  chair, Chatham Islands Airport Ltd and Chatham Islands Ports Ltd, director: Chatham Islands Forestry Ltd, Chatham Islands Management Ltd and Chatham Islands Quota Holdings Ltd.