Sir Mark Solomon joins board of Maori Fisheries Trust

The Kaiwhakahaere (chairman) of South Island iwi Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Sir Mark Solomon, has become a director of the Māori Fisheries Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana, in Wellington.

Sir Mark was elected to the board in November last year by Te Kawai Taumata, the electoral college of iwi organisations.

Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas welcomed Sir Mark’s appointment saying that he brings a wealth of business leadership and governance experience to the table.

Sir Mark is a well known New Zealander who has led one of the largest iwi in the country for the last 14 years. He has served on numerous boards including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa from 2001 – 2007, and was an original member of the Minister for Māori Affairs, the Hon Dr Pita Sharples’ Māori Economic Taskforce.

Ngāi Tahu has had a long involvement in commercial fishing and runs a successful commercial seafood company, Ngāi Tahu Seafood, which supplies seafood products to domestic and international markets. In May 2006, Ngāi Tahu, along with other iwi, received shares of the Māori Commercial Fisheries Settlement from Te Ohu Kaimoana through the model of allocation. These assets have assisted Ngāi Tahu to strengthen and grow its commercial seafood enterprises. Most seafood offered by Ngāi Tahu Seafood is caught against Ngāi Tahu quota by Ngāi Tahu fishers – families who have been fishing for generations.

Sir Mark was elected Kaiwhakahaere of Ngāi Tahu in 1998. Of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kuri descent, he currently holds directorships on Te Pātaka o Rauru, Te Pookai Aronui and Te Tapuae o Rehua. He is a Trustee for Pure Advantage and a Summit Member of the Hillary Institute. Sir Mark replaces Rangimarie Parata-Takurua, who had served two, four-year terms as a director. The Māori Fisheries Act 2004 provides that directors can only serve for eight years as directors.