Tainui still in division over $70m

By Yvonne Tahana

Sir Henry van der Heyden. Photo / Christine Cornege
Sir Henry van der Heyden. Photo / Christine Cornege

Tainui Group Holdings won't be receiving $70 million worth of new government cash from Waikato-Tainui despite calls from ex-Fonterra leader Sir Henry van der Heyden for that to happen.

Sir Henry is the chairman of Waikato-Tainui's commercial arm and this month called for the millions received at the end of last year, related to the tribe's 1995 treaty settlement and known as a relativity payment, to go to TGH for management.

TGH already manages assets worth $800 million.

But Tom Roa, chairman of the tribe's executive board, Te Arataura, who had advocated for the cash to be used to invest in entrepreneurship among grassroots people, told the Herald he hadn't changed his position about the money's use.

Consultation was underway with tribal members, Mr Roa said.

"The relativity funding has gone into the bank account. It's earning interest and that's where it will stay until we've got an informed decision."

What made Sir Henry's call extraordinary was that it was rare for the previous TGH board chairman, John Spencer, to express an opinion on what is essentially a political decision in the first instance - especially after a political leader, in this case Mr Roa, had publicly set out a differing course.

Mr Roa said despite the two differing viewpoints, he welcomed Sir Henry's idea but said it needed to be explained in more detail to tribal members, and he should be given the opportunity. "It's clear at this present time that the first settlement in 1995 set TGH up. This is a second opportunity for the tribe."

- NZ Herald

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