Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei's bottom-line profits have been boosted by nearly quarter-of-a-billion-dollar asset growth in the powerhouse real estate asset class where it holds many of its assets.
Accounts for the year to June 30, 2021, showed a $243 million net gain from its investment property assets, up on the far more conservative $43m gain the previous year for the tangata whenua of central Tāmaki Makaurau.
Investment property assets are now valued at $1.4b, up from $1.1b previously and the iwi is conservatively geared against rising interest rates with only a 16 per cent loan-to-value ratio.
Latest accounts show net profit before tax of $254m for the June 2021 year, up on the $58m previously, with total comprehensive income at $251m, up on $55m.
The iwi acknowledges how important the whenua is to its accounts. Michael Stiassny, chairman of financial arm Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa, noted rising revaluations' role.
"It's no surprise that in a year which saw property price records being broken in many locations across the country, an organisation with substantial property holdings saw that reflected positively on its balance sheet," he wrote in the latest annual report.
But he also noted the downside of that in housing affordability.
"The dramatic increase in property prices in this country is not without consequences, however, and the position of those left behind in the property rush is of great concern. We are conscious that many of those who are already struggling will have those struggles exacerbated by current trends and so it is of even greater importance that we do well and use our success to support our whānau," Stiassny wrote.
To help alleviate the housing crisis the entity's first commercial housing development, the North Shore housing subdivision Oneoneroa, is rising. More than 13 homes have been sold, a further 29 are being built and 13 have been pre-sold off the plans, he wrote in the report out late last year.
Ten whare have been built for kaumātua in Ōrākei and many staff employed to run operations are tangata whenua.
Quay Park leases near Auckland's waterfront have been a key asset.
AECOM House is the only building within that precinct that Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei currently owns but it plans to buy more, its report said.
"We'll be looking at any opportunities to invest in the precinct. AECOM also provides important income from its annual rent to be reinvested into our hāpu, and we have focused on reducing the vacant space," the annual report said.
The Carrington Unitec site is another focus for the future.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa owns three blocks within the campus and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Crown to buy more land to build 500 homes, including affordable homes.
This development is part of the wider Carrington residential development led by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development that was awarded shovel-ready funding where about 2500 to 4000 homes are planned in the next 10 to 15 years.
"The development of Unitec land will be a core focus of the upcoming financial year," the annual report said.
However, progress has been slow, The Herald has reported.
Four years after the Government announced plans, not a single house has been built.
In 2018, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the development at Unitec's Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae in her Mt Albert electorate, saying the mix of affordable and open-market housing would include parks, shops and a new school.
Other iwi have been busy elsewhere in Tāmaki Makaurau.
The Ockham-Marutūāhu partnership is a Pākehā/Māori collaboration developing 541 affordable new units in four blocks, worth well over $300m, and many KiwiBuild properties.
Last winter, Housing Minister Megan Woods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and New Lynn MP Deborah Russell were at the opening of the latest new building from that joint venture, Kōkihi at Waterview.