A wise investment made by a Rotorua Maori trust is having huge spinoffs for local marae that will soon enjoy significant cash injections.
Te Kotahitanga o Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust has made $3.2 million in just four years on a single investment. The trust recently cashed out of the investment and will now pay each of its six marae a bonus payment of $100,000.
The trust, which represents six marae affiliated with Ngati Whakaue, was set up in 2012 after the "Treelords" Treaty of Waitangi deal in 2009.
The trust now holds assets valued at $14.3 million. The value of investments is 20 per cent more ($1.42 million) than the previous year and shows a total growth of 54 per cent since the settlement in 2012.
Outgoing trust chairwoman Ana Morrison said she was thrilled to table the annual report this month. She said the good investment was with a privately held aged-care company called Radius Residential Care.
The decision was made four years ago to invest in the company, after a lot of research.
"We are an investment trust and we invest money and grow it prudently," she said. "We thought aged care was a growth sector in New Zealand, and it was a good price and solid investment."
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Given the boost in funds, the trust decided to increase its distributions this financial year by giving $100,000 each to the six marae under the settlement.
The marae are Hurunga te Rangi Marae, Tumahaurangi Marae, Te Papaiouru Marae, Paratehoata-Te Kohea Marae, Waikuta Marae and Whakaue Marae.
Morrison said each marae would spend the money on capital projects and other important marae activities. One marae was looking to build a new wharekai (dining room), another was developing its wharenui (meeting house) and another was funding major capital works.
Te Papaiouru Marae Trust chairman Colin Bennett said the money would be used for a major upgrade of the marae's buildings and facilities, focusing on the dining hall.
Bennett said it was a pleasant surprise to get the funding boost, and the trust's benefits were a result of "good leadership, a functional team and more than adequate expertise".
Morrison said the trust had averaged 9 per cent growth of funds each year.
The trust is also the main funder of Ngati Whakaue's Whakanuia, an annual get-together for the descendants of Ngati Whakaue. The inaugural event was held last year with a kapa haka day and dinner that highlighted Ngati Whakaue achievers.
This year, the event comprised of a family fun day at Waikite Rugby and Sports Club on November 21, which was attended by hundreds of people.
Last weekend, mountain bike tours were funded for Ngati Whakaue to experience the Whakarewarewa Forest.
Mrs Morrison is stepping down as chairwoman of the trust and her role will be taken over by fellow trustee Katie Paul. "For me, it was really good to leave on a high," Mrs Morrison said. The other two members of the trust are Hemi Rolleston and Jason Rogers.
-See tomorrow's Te Maori for details on Te Papaiouru Marae's upgrade plans.
Te Kotahitanga o Ngati Whakaue Assets Trust's success:
* 20 per cent increase in total net surplus from last year, to $1.74 million.
* Single investment makes $3.2 million in four years.
* 54 per cent increase in value since 2009.
* Distributions of $320,586 made in 2014/15 financial year.
* Distributions of $841,000 to be made in 2015/16 financial year.
* Bonus distribution of $100,000 to each marae in coming financial year.
* Main funder of Ngati Whakaue Whakanuia.