A nine billion Iwi empire

Hobson’s Pledge Trust


The TDB Advisory Iwi Investment Report 2018 said that the combined wealth of the nation’s 75 iwi groups rose by $1.2 billion to $9 billion in the past year with Ngai Tahu and Ngati Whatua Orakei as stand-outs with reported average annual returns of 12 per cent and 15 per cent respectively over the past six years.

But there are gaps in the NZ Herald account of the report. A non-iwi business generally starts with an interest-bearing bank loan secured against an asset, often the family home, and it is taxed from day one.

Most iwi businesses start with seed capital given by the taxpayer via the government and they may trade as charities and so are largely exempt from tax.

The total amount of this free seed capital to all iwi groups by way of treaty settlements to June 30 last year was $3.6 billion.

Since 1995, Waikato-Tainui has received $447 million and Ngai Tahu $437-million in Treaty settlements and both get a percentage of on-going settlements ? with Waikato-Tainui getting 17 percent and Ngai Tahu 16.1 percent.

The free-money aspect is shielded by the sanctimony of successful claims by iwi that the government in some way breached the treaty thus disadvantaging them.

South Island-based Ngai Tahu maintained a steady 8 per cent return on assets in 2018 through its private equity investments, property, tourism, farming, forestry and seafood.

Waikato-Tainui is primarily invested in property, as is Ngati Whatua Orakei, with others invested in forestry and managed funds.

A total of 5341 people have signed our Change.org petition to Environment Canterbury to block the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, which will allow Ngai Tahu to appoint two representatives with voting rights onto the Council.

Soon, our MPs will vote on the first reading of the Bill which would allow the South Island tribe Ngai Tahu (the one that has received $437-million in Treaty settlements since 1998) to appoint two councillors on to the Canterbury Regional Council in perpetuity.

The two appointees will sit and vote alongside the 14 elected councillors. As such, members of Ngai Tahu will be represented by the councillors they voted for as well as the Ngai Tahu appointees.

Please click here to sign, or google “change.org Ngai Tahu” and click on the link to “In a democracy, why should Ngai Tahu have more say than you??