4 Mar 2014

Forestry venture expected to pay off

8:13 am on 4 March 2014

Six iwi that have bought into a central North Island forestry business valued at $2.5 billion believe it will provide returns within a month.

The collective has paid tens of millions of dollars for a 2.5 percent share in Kaingaroa Timberlands in the central North Island.

The iwi share will be controlled by a new investment business, Kakano.

Manager Alamoti Te Pou says current log prices on the international market are good for a fast-growing plantation of softwood, and that means delivering returns to descendants.

A cash distribution is one of the benefits of investing in Kaingaroa Timberlands, rather than setting up a tribal-led forestry operation.

The trees sit on land returned to eight tribes under a Treaty settlement with the Crown, and Mr Te Pou says the land they own is now working for them.

Mr Te Pou say it's a big step to move from being a traditional land owner into a forestry business and the investment could not have been achieved by a single iwi.

The six iwi organisations are Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Whakaue Assets and Te Arawa River Iwi Limited Partnership, Ngati Whare, Raukawa, Te Arawa Group Holdings Limited and Tuwharetoa.