The Parengarenga Incorporation has informed its estimated 1800 shareholders it intends to seek an investor to put up $5.5million to build a new $4.7million marine farming plant which the McRobert Aquaculture Group in Western Australia has designed for a site at Paua by the Parengarenga Harbour.
Shareholders have been told the plant - planned for installation this year - could produce 320 tonnes of yellowfin kingfish annually and the venture could make a $1.6million profit in its second year of operation.
The plant's operating budget would be provided by a $1.25million Bank of New Zealand overdraft guaranteed by Parengarenga Inc.
A company called NZ Fish Farm Ltd was formed last month to run the new venture. Parengarenga Inc chief executive officer John Ellis is its sole director and Parengarenga Fishfarm Ltd - directed by Mr Ellis, Winiata Brown, Clayton Wiki and Nutana Wiku - is the listed shareholder.
Both Mr Ellis, of Te Tao, and Parengarenga Inc chairman Chad Paraone, of Auckland, declined to discuss in detail the renewed attempt at fish farming.
Mr Ellis said shareholders other than Mr Yates "seemed pretty happy" with the proposal.
Parengarenga Inc and the investor found to put up $5.5million are planned to eventually each own 40 per cent of NZ Fish Farm with McRobert Aquaculture acquiring the remaining 20 per cent for providing the plant at a discounted price, free technical support and other services.
However, the proposal has alarmed trust shareholder John Yates, of Auckland, who told the Northern Advocate the first fish farm had failed with a loss of more than $14million and he was "vehemently opposed" to "another fling at growing kingfish".
He said he had no faith in the business acumen of the management committee of Parengarenga Inc. The committee was "basically the same people who decided to put in the last failed plant".
Their decision to renew kingfish farming "smacks of amateurism".
Mr Yates said he wanted to flush all of the present members out of the committee and get new management.
"We need young blood and competent advice," Mr Yates said.
Parengarenga Inc is understood to have assets of more than $30million, including the Te Rangi and Paua stations in the Far North, forestry developments and an oyster farm.