One of Taupo's most popular and iconic tourist attractions has been bought by Central North Island iwi Ngati Tuwharetoa.

The Lake Taupo Hole in One Challenge is considered to be one of Taupo's must-do attractions and has been operating for 24 years.

The tourism activity, which offers punters the chance to hit golf balls out to a floating lake pontoon, was bought by the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board through its commercial subsidiary, Taupo Moana Group Holdings Limited (TMGH).

Trust board chief executive, Topia Rameka, said the purchase was a strategic decision.

"We are committed to growing the asset base of our people and having a greater presence in the local tourism sector - the opportunity to acquire a well-established business operating on our property aligns well with our long-term objectives. As tangata whenua of the Taupo District, our focus is to invest locally and to create employment opportunities."

Tiwana Tibble, TMGH chairman, was also pleased with the buy.

"TMGH is excited with the opportunity to be taking such an iconic brand and successful business forward. We would like to thank the team at the Lake Taupo Hole in One Challenge for the great work they have done over the years. We look forward to continuing that work and to growing the relationships the business has with its key business partners."

Mr Tibble said the purchase would be seamless and business as usual.


"Lake Taupo Hole in One Challenge is a well-run operation. Our plan is to shortly appoint a new manager to help grow and incorporate the new business into our portfolio."

The Lake Taupo Hole in One Challenge has been locally owned and operated since 1993.

It has been rated as one of the top 100 things to do in New Zealand. The facility averages a hole-in-one every two weeks, with more than 950 recorded to date.

Settlement is scheduled to take place on October 31.