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Ed Sheeran

Iwi owed discount on Napier Port shares
Ports of Napier - Gettyimages

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An iwi leader is challenging Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to make shares in the Port of Napier available to iwi and local residents for a discount, to ensure control of the asset stays in the region.

The council wants to sell up to 45 percent of the port because it can’t fund the port’s expected $350 million expansion on its own.

It has rejected the discount idea.

But Ngāti Pahauwera Development Trust chair Toro Waaka, who sits on the council’s planning committee, says it’s a risky investment, in part because the council has taken too much out of the operation in dividends rather than investing in its development.

He says the council needs to acknowledge a moral obligation.

"Much of the land they own or operate on or benefit from was taken from Māori under the Harbour Board Act so in terms of reconciliation it is only morally fitting there should be a discount for iwi entering into regaining some of its former property," Mr Waaka says.

Pahauwera is prepared to invest up to $5 million, and it has talked to other iwi and Māori trusts about building up a cornerstone stake

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