March 03, 2020
Iwi need new measure of success
A director of a number of Māori and iwi firms says a report which slates iwi for low investment returns misses some of the fundamentals about how they operate.
The annual TDB Advisory Iwi Investment Report found none of the eight wealthiest iwi achieved its benchmark return of 10 per cent.
Iwi were strongly exposed to primary industries – fishing, forestry and farming – and took a conservative investment approach.
Debbie Birch, whose directorships include Ngāti Awa Group Holdings, IWIinvestor and Tourism Holdings, says iwi can’t be compared with each other because they all have different strategies to manage their assets.
It’s also not possible to compare them with other business organisations.
"When you’ve lost land and you get it back through a treaty settlement there is no way you would consider selling that land to invest in equities, for example. Your primary focus will be moving that land to its highest and best use of decision making'.
Debbie Birch says a more interesting measure of success would be how iwi distribute their wealth in the years ahead.
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