From the Chair
Posted on 13 September 2019
My report this month focuses on changes that are in progress in the commercial area, including how the commercial activity within the Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Group will be managed in the future. The decision to change came about because we were at a point where we needed to review our SIPO (Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives) for Ngāti Apa Investments Limited (NAIL).
We have always been aware that because of various pieces of legislation over time including Fisheries, Waitangi Tribunal and Aquaculture settlements, that our commercial assets sit across a number of different entities, the Charitable Trust, Assets Holding Company and the investment company (NAIL). Only the post-settlement legislation required the Trust to develop a SIPO, which provided direction and expectations, to the directors of the investment company.
On reflection, the Trusts considered that a more prudent approach would be to position all of the commercial assets so that one group of directors would then be given responsibility for the entire asset base, and the commercial expectations would then be contained in a Group-wide SIPO, covering all asset classes. It was considered that the simplest way to achieve that outcome would be to transfer the assets currently positioned in the Charitable Trust across to the Assets Holding Company, and to appoint common directors to serve on both the Assets Holding Company and the investment company. It was also decided that as the Funds Management and Private Equity investment streams were now well set and established, that the number of directors be reduced from five to three (with a minimum of one being of Ngāti Apa descent).
The Board had also considered for some time now that opportunities for investment in the rohe should be explored and, to give this vision more emphasis, we intend to source a locally based director with sound networks and expertise, and will provide NAIL with a greater level of management support, in order to progress toward this outcome. This directorship will be advertised after the Group SIPO work has been completed.
Another area the Board felt was worthy of consideration was the establishment of an Investment Advisory Committee, comprising two Trustees and two external experts, to assist the Trusts to develop the Group SIPO and provide on-going advice to the Board on financial matters and to assist with the performance measurement of NAIL. The likelihood of a high number of new Trustees being elected over the next two years supported this proposition.
As a consequence of the impending changes NAIL Chairman Ian Fitzgerald opted to resign his position however is prepared to assist the Board in any way he can. Ian will be approached regarding a role on the Advisory Sub Committee. Adrian Wilson has also resigned as a director. The remaining directors are about to be offered appointments for varying terms and will shortly appoint a new chair.
Further updates on progress and any clarification required, will be given at the AGM. Ii hope to see you there.
Chairman, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trusts