Takitimu Seafoods is setting itself a new direction by concentrating on its internet, retail and wholesale business.
We are currently in discussion with Moana New Zealand, looking at combining and maximising opportunities together, realising the synergies that both companies bring to the industry.
Moana NZ is the largest inshore fishing company. Ngāti Kahungunu owns 8.5 per cent, making us the third-largest shareholder.
This combined effort will lead to a new dynamic in Māori fisheries, and enable us to take control of our future and the commercial, conservation, and community wellbeing through employment and customer satisfaction via our retail shops, and with Moana NZ's long reach into the supermarket and export industry.
Discussions are progressing well and we hope to have a full definition by the next fishing season, starting October 1.
It takes the dreams of those who settled our fisheries claim - the likes of Alby Walker, Murray Hemopo, Tom Gemmell, Eru Smith, Numia August, Charlie Mohi, and others - to a new platform for iwi development.
The driving force behind the settlement was always to restore our whakapapa for Tangaroa and, with the expertise and institutional capacity of Moana NZ and with the fresh vibrancy of Takitimu, we are looking at achieving that.
In the meantime, our deepsea operation through our deepsea vessel, the Glomfjord, has hit the financial headwinds of Covid-19 - we have seen international revenues halved and our quota, especially hoki, slashed dramatically.
Given the rising fuel prices and the rising cost of freight and of sale, we are looking at curtailing this operation and concentrating on inshore. This could mean that we sell our deepsea vessel to concentrate our resources elsewhere.
These issues have affected all deepsea companies - all are struggling in this space. However, we do not have the scale to weather the Covid storm.
This we hope, will all be achieved by October 1, with the new fishing season.
Takitimu Seafoods has strong iwi partnerships, including the Chatham Islands, Ngāti Whatua, Ngāti Toa, Tainui, Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, and Ngāti Ranginui, among others, and we have a strong connection with Vela Fisheries.
We wish for all of our people to be informed of our up-and-coming projects and potential.
Ngahiwi Tomoana is chairman of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated