May 29, 2023
Ngāti Toa school deal a winner
A deal that allowed Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Incorporated to buy 40 schools in the Porirua and wider Wellington catchment has won the debt deal of the year award at this year’s Institute of Finance Professionals awards.
With assistance from Armillary Private Capital, JP Morgan and Craigs Investment Partners, the runanga borrowed $368m from ANZ, BNZ, Booster, Fisher Funds, Rotomā No.1 Incorporation and Westpac, meaning it did not have to dip into its cash reserves to buy some of the properties earmarked for deferred selection in its 2014 settlement.
The deal involved about 144 hectares, making the iwi the largest landlord of the Ministry of Education.
The judges say the winning transaction solved a capital market holy grail in monetising government cash flows, while also mitigating interest rate risk.
It also provided an intergenerational solution that may serve as a precedent for similar treaty settlement outcomes.
Loan repayments mean the runanga won’t see any income for the next 25 years, put it puts future generations in a strong financial position to benefit from a steady income in perpetuity.
The Māori Leadership in Finance Te Tohu Kahukura Award went to Iwi Investor chair Debbie Birch, for her efforts to encourage circular economy thinking to grow wealth, maximise the impact for tribal members and focus on the long term greater good.
Her projects include establishing the $115 million Te Tuia Tapapa fund, which pools capital from 26 Iwi and Māori entities, and Raukawa ki te Tonga.