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 Ngaitahu 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.
Ngāi Tahu Holdings
Ngāi Tahu Holdings is an intergenerational New Zealand-focused investor. It is the investment company of the Ngāi Tahu Charitable Trust of which Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is the sole Trustee.
Ngāi Tahu Holdings’ mission is to be an outstanding investment company creating wealth for Ngāi Tahu Whānui and respecting and contributing to the mana of Ngāi Tahu in all that it does. It manages a diversified portfolio of investments across five subsidiary companies: Ngāi Tahu Investments; Ngāi Tahu Farming; Ngāi Tahu Property; Ngāi Tahu Seafood and Ngāi Tahu Tourism.
Ngāi Tahu Investments
Centuries ago, Ngāi Tahu moved southward from their homes in Te Ika a Māui (the North Island) to forge a new life in Te Waipounamu (the South Island).
Ngāi Tahu Investments (NTI) is continuing the tribe’s tradition of exploring new opportunities by investing in assets that complement and diversify the NTH portfolio. NTI’s portfolio includes a range of direct investments, private equity funds and listed equities. These investments improve NTH’s growth exposure and portfolio resilience, which helps to protect and grow tribal wealth for current and future generations.
Ngāi Tahu Farming
Ngāi Tahu whakapapa (genealogy) binds us to the mountains, land, forests, and waters.
Underpinning this unique relationship is the belief that the natural environment sustains people, and that in turn, we have a responsibility to nurture the environment through the generations. Our farming operation includes the management of more than 100,000 hectares of beef farms, dairy farms, forestry operations, and high country stations. It is essential to us that all our practices — whether on land, waterways, or in forests — are in line with our role as a kaitiaki (custodian) of the environment.
Ngāi Tahu Property
For generations, the land has shaped the culture and identity of Ngāi Tahu.
Our history and traditions are recorded in place names, mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans, ensuring that the footsteps of our ancestors remain forever upon the landscape. The land, and our relationship with it, is one of the foundations for the future of Ngāi Tahu. Through our property developments and investments, we strive to honour that enduring relationship.
Ngāi Tahu Seafood
For centuries, the sea surrounding Te Waipounamu (the South Island) has provided Ngāi Tahu a bountiful supply of food for both sustenance and trade.
Ngāi Tahu have an intimate knowledge of, connection to, and respect for the sea. Our profound regard for the marine environment, alongside our belief in sustainability and responsible behaviour, guides our practice in today’s commercial environment. It includes respect for marine species and for the product itself, taking care to retain the best condition and highest quality.
Ngāi Tahu Tourism
Ngāi Tahu have an intimate relationship with the landscape, a rich cultural heritage, and a reputation for manaakitanga (hospitality), which underpins our tourism activities.
Tourism is where our cultural, commercial, and environmental aspirations come together as we share our place, our story, and our values with the world. We aim to provide an unparalleled experience to our manuhiri (visitors).