November 02, 2016
Ngati Hine Forests debt free but planting for future
One of Northland’s largest Maori businesses is reporting an $8.5 million cash injection from the sale of a forest, but has warned shareholders any dividends are still years away.
Chair Pita Tipene told the Ngati Hine Forest Trust annual meeting at the weekend the trust ended up owning the 430 hectare Ruatangata Forest in settlement of a dispute about pruning regimes on land leased in 1981 to Carter Holt.
It sold the stumpage in May, and used the money to pay a $1.4 million tax bill its other debts totalling $4.4 million.
The balance will be used to expand the trust's manuka honey business and to compensate for the loss of income as it converts its kiwifruit orchards in Kerikeri to cultivars that can resist the Psa virus.
Mr Tipene says money from contracts to harvest a leased forest at Matawaia is going into replanting a second rotation, from which the trust will get half the income when it is harvested in 28 years.
The rest of the trust’s lands are being harvested by Hancock Forest Management and the leases surrendered by lessee Taumata Plantations Ltd, leaving the trust with the responsibility of replanting them in a mix of pine and manuka.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com