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Chairman of the board

Infrastructure company and port operator Eastland Group has named a new man to head its board of directors — Matanuku Mahuika.

Eastland Group this week announced a record-breaking year. Income rose to $97 million, profit increased to $20.1 million, and it paid a record $12.1 million to sole shareholder Eastland Community Trust.

At the same time, changes to the board were announced, with directors Mike Glover and Kieran Devine retiring by rotation, and Fiona Mules and chairman Keith Sutton resigning.

Eastland Group board today announced the appointment of director Mr Mahuika to the role of chairman.

“It is a privilege to be trusted with the role of chair for the Eastland Group,” Mr Mahuika said.

“Eastland Group is important to our community and significant change to the board has the potential to be unsettling for the company.

“However, the management team and staff have again delivered an excellent profit result for the company, the shareholder and the community. I look forward to continuing to work with them and my fellow directors to build on that result.

Mr Mahuika also paid tribute to the departed directors.

“It is important to acknowledge the enormous contribution of Keith, Fiona, Mike and Kieran. It is great that people of this calibre are willing to come to our region and play a role in Eastland Group. Their hard work and dedication has helped to enable the continuing strong performance of Eastland Group.”

Gisborne-based Mr Mahuika joined the Eastland Group board in October 2016.

He is a lawyer and founding partner of the firm Kahui Legal, and has held a wide variety of board roles, including deputy chairman of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and chairman of Sealord Group Limited.

He is the chairman of Ngati Porou Holding Company Ltd and a director of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou Trustee Company Limited and the New Zealand Merino Company Limited.

He is also a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board, and a former trustee of the Eastland Community Trust.

Eastland Group’s other directors are John Rae and Tony Gray, long-serving members of the board with wide-ranging expertise.

ECT chairman Dr Paul Reynolds welcomed Mr Mahuika into the new role.

“Matanuku has a wealth of national experience and local knowledge that has greatly benefited Eastland Group over the past few years,” said Dr Reynolds.

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd also welcomed the appointment.

“The company’s success over a long period of time is based around a proven business model, a very capable management team and an experienced and supportive board.

“The company is stronger than it has ever been. Matanuku’s appointment reinforces this, with Eastland Group poised to continue to grow and prosper for the benefit of the community.

“Three new directors will be recruited to augment the board’s existing skill sets.

“With recruitment now under way, ECT will be looking to ensure that an appropriate mixture of relevant financial/commercial,operational business and corporate governance skills and capabilities — along with good diversity and regional understanding and commitment — are around the board table.”

Eastland Group’s new chairman Matanuku Mahuika. Picture by Strike Photography