March 31, 2016
Settlement trust draws on support from richer tribe
The Port Nicholson Settlement Trust has shored up its investment capacity by signing a relationship agreement with Waikato Tainui.
The trust is battling a legacy of poor investment decisions by its original trustees which left it with little revenue or cash and a white elephant in the former defence base at Shelly Bay.
But it does have the right to buy surplus crown properties such as the Wellington Railway Station and the former Mount Crawford Prison site.
Chief executive Jason Fox says the kawenata signed this week by King Tuheitia and trust chair Neville Baker confirms historic links between Taranaki Whanui and Waikato Tainui, and allows the trust to consider developments which are too big to tackle on its own so soon after settlement.
"Some of these developments, sort of 100, 200 or 300 million plus, it only fits one or two iwi at this point and time. In Wellington there are probably 2 or 3 of those types of projects sitting around and so it does require a partner of substantial size to carry it out, he says.
Jason Fox says if suitable opportunities arise, Port Nicholson Settlement Trust will also give other post-settlement Taranaki iwi a chance to invest.
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