Te Arawa heading for united asset base

By Whare Akuhata

A single Te Arawa post-treaty settlement entity looks to be on the cards.

About 50 members of the three Te Arawa post-treaty settlement organisations met on Wednesday in Rotorua for discussions on working more collaboratively. The organisations are Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust, Te Kotahitanga o Te Arawa Fisheries Trust and Te Arawa Lakes Trust.

Te Pumautanga general manager Rawiri Te Whare said the theme of the hui was collaboration.

"Each organisation gave a presentation on what they were doing as an organisation and from that information we were able to assess where we might be able to collaborate."

Mr Te Whare said some of the ideas mooted were to share office space and administrative activities, work on collecting their database information and co-ordinating communication.

Mr Te Whare said in time the commercial entities would see how they could work together.

The discussions didn't preclude other Te Arawa organisations.

Mr Te Whare said the meeting was "a momentous occasion" and to progress the discussions, quarterly meetings would be held.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Toby Curtis agreed it was a momentous occasion.

"We have been trying to get all our groups together for sometime now."

It was hoped a formal arrangement would be made and next year they would jointly work on completing three or four projects.

The three chief executives would get together to develop a paper on collaboration for the respective boards and then to formalise the relationship.

Mr Curtis said there was a willingness to make the collaboration happen for all of Te Arawa.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust chief executive Roku Mihinui said a single entity was first mooted 10 years ago by the former chairman of Te Arawa Maori Trust Board, the late Arapeta Tahana.

This was followed up with a number of initiatives including an independent report on the possibility of a single entity, and Mr Mihinui said a memorandum of understanding was drafted.

However, for various reasons the organisations weren't able to achieve this aim.

Mr Mihinui said the three chief executives have already worked together on projects including sharing database information and communications.

Te Arawa Fisheries chief executive Shane Heremaia said the discussions were timely.

"The three of us are in a better place to look at collaborative opportunities."

Although it wasn't discussed he mentioned one of the investments they could consider was the Government's sale of state owned assets.

It was estimated, based on what is publicly available, a single Te Arawa entity would have an asset base exceeding $120 million.


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