Positive Results Testament to on Going Strength of Ngāi Tahu Portfolio

It’s been another successful year for South Island iwi Ngāi Tahu, with the annual results for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Group showing a number of positive financial gains.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere, Tā Mark Solomon says the achievements have come across the board for Te Rūnanga Group, with another excellent performance by Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation (NTHC – the investment arm of the iwi) “allowing for increased dividends to provide the funds to invest in our people”.

Among the highlights was a group net operating surplus of $51m, total comprehensive income (profit) of $226m, and an increase in shareholder equity of $219m to $877m after a distribution of $28.25m.

Making up the total comprehensive profit figure, was a cash payment under the relativity mechanism and continued significant gains within the tribe’s investment arm.

“When I look back at where we have come from, to where we are today, I think of the wisdom of our tipuna, our iwi values, the ability and skill of the Te Rūnanga Group staff, and governors past and present; it is all these things that I view as contributing to our outstanding result,” says Tā Mark.

“On the distribution side of our entity, we can be proud that we have invested $290m in tribal development since Settlement.

“On the commercial side, NTHC are to be congratulated for their ongoing insightful and strategic business decisions. Across the board they do an outstanding job of protecting and growing our assets on behalf of Ngāi Tahu Whānui.”

In announcing the results for the commercial operations, chair of NTHC Trevor Burt says the continuing focus on diversifying the portfolio will continue. “Again our results are very strong and this means we can continue to look for new opportunities to invest.”

He says the key results for NTHC for the past financial year are as follows:-
Net Operating Surplus – $49.2m
Operating Return on Equity (incl Ngāi Tahu Fisheries Settlement Ltd – NTFSL) – 6.85%
Total Net Profit – $77.9M
Total Net Profit Return on Equity (incl NTFSL) – 10.86%
Total Comprehensive Income (Profit) – $181.6m
Total Comprehensive Return on Equity – 25.3%

Trevor Burt says among the commercial highlights was the rise and rise of Ryman Healthcare, the significant progress being made on residential developments and Ngāi Tahu Seafood delivering its fourth consecutive record result.

“Once again our property and seafood companies returned fantastic results as did our investment in Ryman Healthcare. It was a tough year however for Ngāi Tahu Tourism who found themselves battling the elements with Franz Josef glacier retreating and weather conditions in Queenstown causing disruptions at Shotover on the two busiest weeks of the year. The great news is that the forecast for tourism is looking much improved for the foreseeable future and we remain firmly committed to the industry.

“We are living in exciting times. Overall our portfolio continues to deliver the desired results that mean we can in turn deliver favourable returns to our shareholders.

“We are well positioned for growth with a very strong balance sheet and therefore our focus is firmly on exploring new investment potential both within and beyond our existing portfolio. To that end we have committed $110m over the next three years to developing our rural land and recently announced an interest in investing in the Ruataniwha irrigation scheme in the Hawkes Bay.”

While the role of NTHC is to grow the pūtea, the Office of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is responsible for developing mechanisms for distributions that meet the expectations and provide the greatest benefit to tribal members.

“Our goal is to take our financial success and target resources in areas that best meet the needs of whānau and our communities,” says Tā Mark.

In this vein creating opportunities for growth and leadership both within the organisation and among the wider iwi is a key focus for the Office of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu which is responsible for tribal distribution.

A number of successful initiatives have been implemented over the past year including Manawa Nui, an associate governor programme which has seen the placement of a number of aspiring Ngāi Tahu directors onto the NTHC subsidiary boards. Within the Office, training and nurturing of younger members of the management team to step up into leadership positions is encouraged and at a whānau level, the Manawa Hou programme encourages aspiring Ngāi Tahu youth to engage more closely with iwi activities.

The Whai Rawa savings scheme now has a membership of over 18,000 and a fund value of around $28m while the Ngāi Tahu Fund continues to provide funds to strengthen and grow Ngāi Tahu cultural excellence. The Marae Development Fund is now in its second year, providing funds of $1.4m for marae rebuilds and extensions, and distributions to each of our Papatipu Rūnanga increased from $240,000 to $280,000 for the year.