Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust, headquartered in Rotorua, has exceeded its own financial goal and grown its asset base to $20.13 million, allowing it to distribute $500,000 to beneficiaries in the coming financial year.

Trust chairwoman Katie Paul said the goal was to exceed the $20m asset base mark, which was achieved, earning a $2m profit that will be distributed to tribal members.

"We have now proudly doubled our modest base of $9.2m in 2009 to an asset base of $20.13m.

"This is huge news for the tribe," she said.

In 2009 the trust was given a $9.2m Kaingaroa Forest settlement fund to invest for the collective benefit of Ngāti Whakaue.

Advertisement

Forestry continues to be the trust's single largest and most profitable investment.

Its original $6.5m investment in Te Kakano, a collective investment with six other central North Island iwi in Kaingaroa Timberlands, was valued at $9.1m as at March 2018.

"This growth is set to continue with record log export prices and even stronger demand for sustainable wood products and green carbon credits.

"New government incentives such as the One Billion Trees programme will also bolster the sector," Paul said.

The property market has also performed well for the trust.

Last year it partnered with Ngāti Manawa Developments Ltd to fund Nui - a new housing development on prime beachfront land in Pāpāmoa.

"Strong sales from Nui have resulted in excellent returns. We are also reaping rewards from our property investments in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga."

Overall, Paul said the trust had achieved great returns from the current mix of direct investments, listed equities, listed managed funds, fixed interest bonds and term deposits.

This success was due to work done "by a great team" who assess investment opportunities to choose the right ones for Ngāti Whakaue's beneficiaries.

Paul said next year was looking positive as new investment opportunities were explored.

"Our aim is to actively seek strategic investment opportunities in Rotorua, particularly in the Lakefront developments, Whakarewarewa forest, and in the Rotorua property and tourism sectors.

"We will put effort into our partnerships to build a prosperous future for Rotorua and our tribe. A priority will be finding affordable housing solutions and our focus will stay on supporting marae and tikanga related projects," she said.

A total of $304,831 was distributed during 2017/2018 on a range of tribal events, marae projects and community and sports grants. Money was also set aside for a future housing affordability project.

The trust's strong financial performance was outlined at their 2018 AGM, held at Tamatekapua on Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua on October 14.

"We're committed to delivering a prosperous future for our iwi," Paul said.

"Our marae, tikanga and te reo are thriving and our focus remains on growing and protecting our success for future generations."