One of Rotorua's biggest tourism operators has partnered with one of the biggest Māori land trusts.
Tauhara North No.2 Trust, through its newly created tourism entity Tauhara North Tourism and Company LP, has gone into partnership with Mike Tamaki, of Tamaki Maori Village.
Settlement was finalised on Wednesday.
Trust chairman Ngahihi Bidois said the trustees were happy with the announcement.
"It is a great opportunity for Tauhara North No.2 to invest in a world-renowned Rotorua whānau company that will celebrate 30 years in the cultural tourism industry next year.
"This new partnership perfectly aligns with our manaaki focus and a desire to play an important part in cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes for our whānau and descendants," Bidois said.
"This is a brave new front for our trust and we are excited to partner with Tamaki Maori Village, which is a significant player in the tourism industry."
Director and founding owner of Tamaki Maori Village, Mike Tamaki, said the village purposely aligned with an investment partner whose kaupapa, values and projected vision maintained everything the village stood for.
"We have always been cutting edge and innovative – this will not change. In fact, the new partnership brings about opportunity to accelerate fresh and exciting developments. My passion will ensure that the Tamaki Brothers' vision and legacy continues," Tamaki said.
He said the new entity was set on a strong foundation of commercial, cultural and financial expertise.
Tauhara North No.2 is an Ahu Whenua Māori Land Trust within the rohe of Ngāti Tahu/Ngāti Whaoa. It has commercial assets in energy and farming. The trust manages 326 hectares of land near Taupō and is worth about $329 million.
Mike Tamaki started the family-owned business in 1989 with his late brother Doug, and will stay on as a director of the new tourism entity.
Tauhara North Tourism and Company LP will trade as Tamaki Tours Limited and Tamaki Maori Village.
"The timing of this new partnership will coincide with celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2019 and we are focused on continuing forward with 'business-as-usual' and that all existing terms and conditions are assigned across to the new entity," Tamaki said.
"All current team members of Tamaki Maori Village and management will transfer to the new entity and therefore the change over will be seamless. I also want to take this opportunity in welcoming back Mike Gibbons as the company CEO. Many of you would know Gibbons from the 10-year period when brothers Mike T and Doug T developed the company to winning its NZ Tourism Supreme Award."