Bayleys launches Tu Whenua division

5:00 AM Saturday August 5, 2017 True Commercial

Ward Kamo, director iwi commercial development for Bayleys Tu Whenua. Photo / Supplied

A new Bayleys Commercial division, Tu Whenua, has been established to connect the Maori business community with new ventures and opportunities in property and business transactions.

The Maori economy is now valued at over $50 billion (iwi themselves at over $8b), providing a significant opportunity not only for Maori, but for New Zealand as a whole.

Ward Kamo, director of Iwi Commercial Development for Bayleys Tu Whenua, has a strong track record working in the industry with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation and the Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust as General Manager.

He has also been a regular contributor to Maori Television as a presenter and commentator as well as a columnist in the Ngai Tahu magazine, Te Karaka.

Kamo says when working with iwi and the Maori business community, there are extra layers of complexity that can be missed if not truly understood.

“One instance is that for iwi undergoing, or who have undergone, treaty settlements — a balanced view on the potential economic returns as well as social, heritage and cultural aspects are required.

“Some classes of assets simply won’t produce commercial returns required of an asset management or holdings company.

“Equally, some classes of assets are required to be held by iwi to support their social development aspirations. These assets still require the expert management of commercially-minded people and businesses.”

Bayleys Tu Whenua will advise on how iwi and Maori businesses might best approach acquisitions and divestments of property and businesses to achieve strategic direction both commercially and socially.

Kamo says Maori business opportunities and iwi settlement assets come in every commercial shape and array and Bayleys is adept at identifying opportunities across the property and business sectors.

“Maori businesses and iwi already have a strong connection with many successful land developments, residential projects, commercial office and retail assets, business and tourism ventures and agricultural and horticultural assets.

“Bayleys’ ability to provide New Zealand’s largest full-service real estate solution is an attractive and compelling opportunity for iwi and the Maori business community. This is boosted by the intergenerational component of Bayleys which has been in operation for more than four decades across multiple Bayleys whanau generations. Family values play an important role in identifying a pathway for success for descendants and whanau, with the additional benefit of leveraging the Bayleys reach and extensive networks locally and internationally”.

While there are many successful and well-known and successful iwi and Maori businesses, it is not an exclusive opportunity for a select group of New Zealanders. Many New Zealand companies currently enjoy a positive working relationship. A recent example is New Zealand’s largest listed real estate company Kiwi Property Group purchasing a 50 per cent share of Tainui’s The Base mall for $192.5m.

Kamo says Tu Whenua can also assist Maori development through joint venture partnerships. “Partnerships can be as part of the wider international or local network, but can also work within natural iwi alignments such as whanaunga iwi, multiple iwi within a rohe, or iwi neighbours as examples.