Positive results for Te Arawa Lakes Trust


Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT) has finished the 2016/2017 financial year (ended 30 June 2017) with a significant 28 per cent increase in income from the previous year, to $2.555,284 million.

TALT Chairman, Sir Toby Curtis says the increase is due to an increase in Kiwifruit and milk sales, which rose 116% and 65% respectively, despite some challenges with heavy rain during the year. 

Mr Curtis says overall, the Trust’s value has increased from $32.9m to $33.4m, and its focus on diversifying its investment portfolio has yielded positive results from a strong increase in global shares.

“Our second Sungold Kiwifruit crop in Maketu was harvested in April 2017, producing a total of 40,454 trays. This equates to an average of 13,207 trays per hectare – 10.05 per cent above the average second year crop for G3/Sungold.”

Mr Curtis says the Trust’s dairy farm results continue to be dependent on the price of milk solids, however the 2017 financial year saw an improvement in milk price from $3.90 in 2016, to $6.12/kg milk solids for the 2017 season.

“This 2016/2017 year has been one of the wettest on record and the first half of this season was particularly challenging on farm. However good management saw production recover through the remainder of the season, reaching the second highest level over the last 10 years for the combined Arawa and Okurei Dairy farming operations, with production averaging 1,118kg milk solids per hectare.”

The Trust has seen a decrease in commercial and residential rental revenues (14 per cent and 10 per cent respectively) driven by changes to accounting classifications. Overall rental revenue was steady for the period.

Mr Curtis says the focus on a diversified investment strategy is already proving its worth, minimising TALT’s exposure to adverse external market conditions.

He says the Trust’s strong financial results ensures it is able to deliver on its mandate to achieve environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits for Te Arawa.

“The past twelve months have been a time of significant change and huge progress for Te Arawa Lakes Trust, providing an ideal opportunity to refocus on our key priorities and confirm we are heading in the right direction.”

He says this renewed focus has already gained significant traction with a number of different organisations, resulting in new and potential contracts and the development of renewed relationships with hapu.

“We now have a clear strategy and implementation plan for the action needed on our lakes with hapu and iwi, as well as alongisde key partners such as Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Rotorua Lakes Council and others.”

Mr Curtis says a key environmental focus includes the restoration of the mauri of the Te Arawa lakes, re-engaging with hapu and iwi to take ownership of projects, and ensuring the cultural framework Te Tuapapa o nga Wai o Te Arawa is embedded across all work done by the Trust, and its wider partners.

The Trust says operational changes in the past twelve months has been a positive progress and will ensure that they have the specialist expertise to effectively manage and deliver activities that preserve and promote the sustainable use of its property and financial assets.

The Trust currently has a total of 20,198 registered tribal members, 17,866 of whom are 18 years and over.