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 will fund tribal initiatives to help strengthen and empower Ngāi Tahu whānau and communities.

“I’m pleased by our year end result and continued growth, in a year that we have celebrated the 20 year milestone of the signing of the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement,” says Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai.

“I’m also pleased to report growth in our net worth, which has increased by $89m to $1.36b. This solid performance and increased distribution enables Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to continue to fund kaumātua grants, environmental and education initiatives, cultural development, and wellbeing programmes,” Lisa says.

In addition to the direct distribution to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, $454,000 was distributed to each of the 18 Papatipu Rūnanga. Over the past 20 years Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has received a total of $441m from Ngāi Tahu Holdings for investment in tribal development.

Whai Rawa, the iwi savings scheme also continues to grow both in membership and in managed funds. In the year to 30 June 2017 the fund grew to $63.75m, an increase of more than $11m on the previous year.

“A particular highlight of 2016/17 was our investment in a home ownership pilot that supported five whānau to purchase their first homes in an equity share model. Based on the success of the pilot we will be working towards rolling out this model throughout the takiwā,” says Lisa.

Other achievements and milestones during the year included the extensive input of Ngāi Tahu in the Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquake response and recovery which saw teams from across the organisation directly involved in the aftermath and ongoing recovery efforts; the completion and official opening of Ngāi Tahu Property development the Pita Te Hori Centre on the former King Edward Barracks site in central Christchurch; and the completion of the first carbon emissions report for the iwi, measuring the carbon emissions of activities across the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism, Ngāi Tahu Farming, Ngāi Tahu Seafood and Ngāi Tahu Property achieved beyond expectations for the 2016/17 financial year. The exception was Ngāi Tahu Capital which posted a net operating deficit of $9m. This disappointing result reflected a very poor year for Watson & Son which suffered a significant loss following one of the worst mānuka honey seasons on record.

“Having enjoyed a prolonged period of strong growth and exceptional returns over the past few years – resulting largely from Ngāi Tahu Property developments along with an upturn in tourism, the strength of the kōura market in China and our farm conversions – things are now easing back as the economy flattens,” says Ngāi Tahu Holdings Board Chair Trevor Burt.

“However we are confident about the future and our ability to build on the growth of the past two decades,” he says.

Lisa says Ngāi Tahu has made good progress over its 20-year journey since the settlement – with a substantial asset base and net worth.

“We must however remain mindful of why we are here – to fulfil the dreams of all those who fought hard over many generations to settle 150 years of grievances with the Crown – and continue to invest wisely and in line with our values to ensure our future generations have the tools they need to be the best they can be,” she says.

View the 2017 Ngāi Tahu Annual Report online, including the summarised financial statements.