25 Oct 2018

Profit climbs to $150m for Ngāi Tahu iwi

2:02 pm on 25 October 2018

Ngāi Tahu has reported a net profit of $150 million net profit over the 2017/18 financial year.

Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai says financial growth allows the iwi to empower its families and communities. Photo: Supplied

From this profit, the commercial arm of the iwi, Ngāi Tahu Holdings, was able to direct more than $61m into cultural, social, environmental and economic outcomes for Ngāi Tahu whānau.

Most of the investments of the South Island iwi performed well in the year, but its manuka honey brand, Watson & Son, needs to be restructured.

Its portfolio of 30 properties is now valued at $332m and it is eyeing more housing developments this year.

Tourism growth and carbon credits in farming lifted its earnings, as did demand in China for seafood.

The iwi savings scheme, Whai Rawa, has more than 25,000 members and grew its fund to $72.3m - an increase of almost $10m in the past year.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai said she was proud of the work put in across the iwi business and governance groups.

"This financial growth enables Te Rūnanga to build on the foundation of the past 20 years and continue to create initiatives that strengthen and empower our Ngāi Tahu whānau and communities," she said.

However, Ngāi Tahu's new chairperson Mike Tume said the iwi was preparing for a slowdown, given high asking prices for assets and gloomy business confidence.

"We are moving from a period of strong growth into a period where we can expect some headwinds," Mr Tume said.

In 1997, Ngāi Tahu settled its Treaty of Waitangi $170m settlement between the iwi and crown.

The iwi has built on the settlement and now has commercial assets in areas such as tourism, farming and property development worth more than $1.6 billion