Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust says it is pleased to have delivered another strong financial return for Ngati Tuwharetoa, with a total comprehensive income after tax at $4.7 million for 2016/17 – an increase of $1.7 million from the previous year.
The annual results were announced in the weekend at Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust's AGM held at Wairakei Resort in Taupo.
Chairman Rakeipoho Taiaroa says the organisation has gone from strength to strength over the last four financial years, due to the dedication of its trustees, whose five-year term ends this month.
“Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust's total net equity has grown to $37 million, up from $31.2 million a year ago and $16.2 million four years ago,” he says.
“Thanks to the trustees' responsible financial management, the trust is totally debt-free and is delivering on our commitment to provide a strong whare for Ngati Tuwharetoa whanau and hapu to rely on.”
Rakeipoho says the Kakano Investment Limited Partnership investment is the stand-out performer for the trust, with cash distributions of $1.2 million and a further increase in the investment's valuation of $2.2 million.
He says there has also been great progress made with increasing the trust's grants for Ngati Tuwharetoa.
“Our trustees were forced to make a tough call four years ago, when changes were needed to get the trust on a better path for a strong financial future.
“We had to temporarily cease the annual grants for marae, kaumatua and kuia, and the Paramountcy Office – but I am very pleased to report the Paramountcy and Marae Operational grants were re-established in 2016, and education grants returned in 2017.”
Eric says the trust plans to introduce a Marae Capital Works grant in 2018 and increase the total grants budget to $1 million.
“Over the past year we have worked hard to continue building a solid foundation for a prosperous future, by ensuring we have robust systems and processes in place.
“These results prove to us that this approach is working, and we can now deliver even more benefits to our people.”
Other highlights for the trust in the 2016/17 year include its purchase of a commercial property at 11 Tuwharetoa Street in the Taupo CBD, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board and Ngati Tuwharetoa Fisheries Charitable Trust.
“We are committed to working collaboratively with other Tuwharetoa entities for the benefit of our Iwi, while keeping the business of each clear and intact,” says Eric.
“Our trustees have worked hard to build our positive relationships and I acknowledge their service to our iwi.
“Over their five-year term they have achieved several major milestones, which have resulted in the success that we are seeing today.”
Highlights over the trustees' term have included the establishment of the Forest Hapu Clusters, advancing the CNI Mana Whenua Process, seeking an extension from the Crown to the Deferred Selection Process deadline, re-establishing trust grants, boosting the trust's equity from $16.2 million to $37 million and eliminating debt.
“There have been challenges along the way, but we have tackled them head on, and the result is that we are now stronger than ever. Our focus continues to be to enable a proud and successful Tuwharetoa.”
A copy of the Trust's Annual Report and further information is available at www.tst.maori.nz