2 Oct 2013

Education investment priority for Ngai Tahu

6:43 am on 2 October 2013

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu says investment in education is a top priority, following a solid profit from the iwi's business arm.

The commercial division of the South Island iwi has made a total net profit of $77.9 million for the year ended June 30, down from $95.7 million the previous year.

The corporation credits its property and seafood companies and its investment in Ryman Healthcare for the result.

Ngai Tahu kaiwhakahaere Sir Mark Solomon said it meant it could increase its distribution to the Ngai Tahu charitable trust from $29 million to $35 million next year.

The boost would enable the iwi to invest in education opportunities for the young, he said. Money would be spent across the whole spectrum, from early education to second chance learners.

Sir Mark said the better the education, the more opportunity iwi members would have in the future.

Ngai Tahu also has plans to expand its Eyrewell dairy farms in North Canterbury from three to eight during the next three years, with a $110 million investment. It intends to create work for Ngai Tahu whanui through this development.

The iwi's assets are valued at $969 million.