Te Arawa Fisheries’ annual report for the 2018 – 2019 financial year shows the group increased its revenue, surplus and equity, all while continuing to focus on supporting Te Arawa Iwi and whānau.
In the 2018/19 financial year, Te Arawa Fisheries’ revenue rose, thanks to in a large part to higher seafood sales. The group made a surplus, which was a significant improvement on the previous year’s loss, and increased its equity.
The financial year period also saw the departure of Shane Heremia as General Manager, and the appointment of Chris Karamea Insley as Chief Executive Officer. Insley was previously involved in Māori Development activities with with Iwi across the country.
While the numbers are strong, Insley says the most important measure is whether the group is supporting iwi, helping whānau prosper and protecting the marine environment.
“In the last financial year, Te Arawa Fisheries awarded $50,000 in scholarships, paid wages of $520,000 through Te Arawa Mahi Limited, distributed 10,000 free lunches, and supported more than 140 whānau with 20kg of fish for tangi,” he says.
Insley says this support is a key part of Te Arawa Fisheries’ three strategic priorities – the first being that Te Arawa Iwi are supported for success.
“Our aim is to merely assist them with the work that they have been doing for hundreds of years. Whether helping with marae upgrades, environmental aspirations or aquaculture research projects, we are proud to support our iwi in serving their people,” he says.
The second key priority is that Te Arawa whānau are prosperous. The group’s scholarship programme, lunches in schools and seafood work experience programme are all aimed at supporting achievement for Te Arawa whānau through education and employment.
The third is about striking the right balance between utilising Te Arawa’s resources for the benefit of its people, while protecting and preserving the marine environment for future generations.
Insley says the group faces a number of new challenges in the near future, with climate change impacting wild stock fisheries, reductions in commercial catch limits putting pressure on revenue and the flow-on impact of COVID-19.
He says the group’s business strategy is currently being refreshed to ensure it is prepared to meet these challenges.
“The Māori proverb ka pu te ruha, ka hao te Rangatahi (the old net is cast aside, the new net goes fishing), describes our COVID-19 recovery strategy,” Insley says.
“Who we are is embedded in everything we do. Our lands, rivers and moana are who we are, and handed down from our tipuna. Our strategic pillars were created to ensure we are unwavering in our focus to grow our whānau towards a world-class intergenerational business, creating the highest quality product and service that commands premium value in our chosen markets.”
Key elements of the strategy update include; lifting the commercial performance of partnerships, developing an investment strategy aligned to the interests and aspirations of shareholders, moving from being a passive to a more active investor, and embracing new technology, science and innovation to identify new high value products aimed at new markets.