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Ngati Porou in deal to buy salmon company

Ngati Porou have secured another foot in the fisheries market after starting a partnership to purchase Akaroa Salmon Ltd in the South Island.

The partnership, named Ahi Mokopuna, is between Ngati Porou Seafoods Ltd, Te Kahui o Onuku and Archipelago Capital Management Ltd which have purchased 84 percent of the salmon company.

Duncan Bates, son of original owner Tom Bates, retains the remaining 16 percent of shares in the company, founded in Lucas Bay on the Akaroa Harbour in the early 1980s.

Over the past 40 years, the business has survived severe storms, market crises, supply shortages and other challenges.

However, the new joint venture partners are delighted with the purchase and the potential to develop Akaroa Salmon further.

Dean Moana, director of both the Ngati Porou Holding Company and the newly formed Ahi Mokopuna partnership, is excited about the new joint venture.

“We have invested because it’s a good business with lots of potential. The product is superior; the partners are all aligned, allowing Ngati Porou to diversify our investments geographically and step into aquaculture,” he said.

Ahi Mokopuna was launched last December in Christchurch after a powhiri at Onuku Marae.

Amongst the manuhiri supporting the partners were a small group of Ngati Porou taurahere from Christchurch and Akaroa Salmon Ltd founder Tom Bates.

Ahi Mokopuna Directors held their first board hui and look forward to carving a sustainable economic, environmental, and cultural future for our future generations.

Ahi Mokopuna board says it encompasses the connection between the partners and some principles of this whakawhanaungatanga (connection) include committing to sustainable environmental practices considering the local environment and local stakeholders; having an intergenerational view and approach to business strategies that focus on growing and expanding salmon production within environmentt boundaries; and use this investment to contribute to the growth, development, and employment opportunities for Ōnuku and Ngati Porou people.

Akaroa Salmon is available for purchase at the Wainui wharf for those lucky enough to be enjoying the Akaroa Harbour and outlets in Christchurch, Queenstown, and Auckland.

Ngati Porou’s first investments into commercial fishing was Sealord in the early 1990s as a result of the 1989 Māori Fisheries Act, which gave Iwi a share of the Quota Management System.

In 2002, Ngati Porou set up their own fisheries company — one of the first to be approved. In 2006, Ngati Porou Seafoods Limited received fishing quota as well as shares in Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd.

New Venture: Ahi Mokopuna Limited directors, from left, Graham Turley of Archipelago, Jymal Morgan of Onuku Runanga, Duncan Bates of Akaroa Salmon and Dean Moana of Ngati Porou Seafoods. They are pictured at Onuku Marae in Christchurch, at the launch of the new partnership. Ngati Porou Holding Company picture