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New Chairman to lead Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust

Press Release – Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board

Ngti Whtua rkei Trust has elected Marama Royal as its new Chairperson, replacing outgoing Chair Phillip Davis.
15 December 2017

New Chairman to lead Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust through next phase of development

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust has elected Marama Royal as its new Chairperson, replacing outgoing Chair Phillip Davis.

Marama Royal, who was born and raised in Orākei and educated at Queen Victoria School in Auckland, has been a Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trustee since 2010, and has served as Deputy Chair since 2015. In addition to her work for the Trust, Marama has held senior management roles at Victim Support and several government organisations.

Marama will focus on the Orākei community and will be based at her marae. She says it is an honour to lead Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and has paid tribute to the outgoing Chair and previous Chairs before her.

“It is a privilege and honour that our Trustees have put their trust and confidence in me, and I am really excited about where are heading as Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei,” she says.

“I want to pay tribute to all the past Trust members who have paved the way for us with their commitment and mahi. They led us through our settlements, upheld our place as mana whenua of central Tāmaki Makaurau, and set up our structure.

“As Chair, my focus will be on ensuring our place as mana whenua is protected but also to constantly advocate for our whānau, as they are the central pou of who we are.”

Recently Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei reported the growth of its asset base to $1.09 billion in 2016/17, up from $593 million in 2012/13. Equity has also increased from $423.6 million in 2012/13 to $854.9 million in 2016/17.

“We have a good mix of people on our Board, with some new and returning Trustees, and along with our strong financial position we have an excellent platform to continue to grow and develop,” says Marama.

“It’s important that we continue to allow our people to realise their dreams and ambitions, and that our work reflects our vision – Kia rere arorangi te kāhu pōkere ki ngā taumata Tiketike – to enable our whānau to soar and fly to the highest heavens.”

Marama will be supported by the Trust’s newly elected Deputy Chair, Ngarimu Blair, who has been a Trustee since 2006, and Shareholder’s Appointee for the iwi commercial development company Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa Limited.

Ngarimu says he is looking forward to the next phase for the iwi, in its role as a key player in Auckland.

“Our position will allow Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to explore strategic opportunities that will deliver skills and ongoing benefits to our people, and also help solve some of the challenges currently facing our city and communities,” he says.

“As a Trust, we have been working towards building a good base for our people and we have done this. It is an exciting time for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, particularly as we are seeing real gains from decisions made 20 years ago, such as the purchase of Quay Park in Auckland’s CBD.

“Those decisions and the careful management since, mean we can play a big part in sectors such as housing, which is really pleasing. This includes our recent purchase of Housing New Zealand land and stock near Orākei Marae, and the development of 30 Kāinga Tuatahi homes for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei whānau.”

The Trust’s financial performance in 2016/17 also included total revenue of $50.9 million and a $143.3 million profit before tax (including $141m of Gain of Revaluation of Investment Property). That has enabled the iwi to distribute a range of grants to support its members including sports grants recognising talent, and kaumātua and kuia grants to help meet core healthcare costs.

Marama says these grants are not just investments but are essential for the sustainability of the iwi.

“Last year, we allocated more than $338,000 in education grants alone to support our tamariki and rangatahi,” she says.

“These funds enable our young people to develop the skills they need to succeed and ultimately contribute to the ongoing development of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

“We are committed to supporting our marae and will make resources available wherever needed. That’s about ensuring we can maintain Orākei as the paramount marae of Tāmaki.”

Over the coming year, the Trust intends to introduce a whānau health insurance scheme as part of its plans to transform the health of its whānau and iwi. It is also working on a universal savings scheme for its members, with interest created by investing in tribal businesses.

The Trust’s Annual Report and Financial Statements are available at:


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