5 Dec 2017

Taupō iwi Ngāti Tūwharetoa records strong financial return

9:59 am on 5 December 2017

Taupō iwi Ngāti Tūwharetoa has this year received a financial return of $4.7 million - an increase of $1.7 million from the previous year.

Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust chair Rakeipoho Taiaroa.

Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust chair Rakeipoho Taiaroa. Photo: RNZ / Supplied

In the last year the Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust purchased a commercial property in the Taupō CBD and remained completely debt-free.

Chairman Rakeipoho Taiaroa said the Trust's total net equity had also grown to $37 million, up from $31m a year ago.

He said the Trust's steady income made it possible to support the 26 marae that the iwi occupy.

"We start off with the marae basically, marae grants, because that's all of our second homes, you know. Everyone gravitates to the marae for the good occasions, the 21sts, etc ... not all of them are up to standard to we try to assist those marae committees to at least operate functionally."

Mr Taiaroa hoped to increase the annual grant budget to $1m in 2018 to support marae, education, kaumatua and the Paramountcy Office.

He said the Trust now looks to the future with even greater aspirations for the future.

"More immediate goals is certainly to grow the capital base even more, provide more support to kaumatua, and to see the Trust's net worth grow to about $50m in the next couple of years."

He said the organisation has gone from strength to strength over the last four financial years, due to the dedication of its Trustees, whose five-year term ends this month.

A copy of the Trust's Annual Report and further information is available at www.tst.maori.nz.