Earlier this month Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated launched the opening of Takitimu Seafoods - wholesalers, processors, exporters and retailers of fresh fish.

The iwi is proud to be the 100 per cent owner and operator of Takitimu Seafoods. Previously owned by Hawke's Bay Seafoods, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc wants its new business to provide connectivity to its 32,000 registered members through culture and commerce.

Ngāti Kahungunu has had a long standing relationship with Hawke's Bay Seafoods and its owners, the D'Esposito family.

"In the past they fished our quota and provided pataka fish for hundreds of whānau tangihanga from Wairoa to Wairarapa for many years and we are so grateful to their whānau for this koha," iwi chief executive, Chrissie Hape said.

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"Now we can look at benefiting our iwi members in a new way. Our goal is to offer registered iwi members a discount on purchases at Takitimu Seafoods. This is a work in progress and will be implemented in the new financial year."

Takitimu Seafoods' main office is based in Napier, at the corner of Pandora Rd and West Quay, right next to the main processing plant and Napier Takitimu Seafoods shop. The Hastings shop is opposite Radio Kahungunu on Heretaunga St.

Staff are excited as the transition over the past month from Hawke's Bay Seafoods to Takitimu Seafoods has been very encouraging.

While most roles in the business remain the same, staff have seen some changes including the signing of new employment contracts, temporary signage and the change of uniforms to reflect the new company name. Soon staff will receive a staff loyalty card that will give cardholders a 15 per cent discount on purchases.

Shop managers Ivan Matich and Cameron Laken have seen a lift in their frontline staff and look forward to seeing other improvements along the way.

Matich, who manages the Napier shop, has been involved in the fishing industry for more than 10 years and has been in this managerial role for the past nine months.

"It's exciting times and everyone is positive," he said.

Laken, who manages the Hastings shop, has been in the role for the past three and a half years. He also feels that the atmosphere seems more positive. A great majority of staff are of Kahungunu descent and stand a little taller knowing that they now work for their iwi.

These are good times.