More specifically it was the company with which the executive board of Ngati Awa’s financial arm, Ngati Awa Group Holdings Ltd (NAGHL), decided to invest $3.3 million in to develop an international-standard golf course.
Ngati Awa was joined in the investment by other interests including Auckland businessman Allen Peters for a total of $17.25m while Mr Birnie borrowed a further $6.5m from BNZ. The plan was to buy land on Kawau Island to develop the luxury golf course and a housing development.
In September 2009, Paterson & Co decided not to sell. At about the same time a valuation report on Lion Rock development considered the development of the project would require an additional investment estimated at between $61 million and $70.115 million plus GST.
The project was abandoned and Ngati Awa wrote the $3.3m investment down to nil.
Again I am left to ask what sort of due-diligence was completed before the investment was made?
Perhaps that is why Sir Gardiner chose to use that four-letter word at the AGM last year after several questions about NAGHL’s performance were asked.
Sir Gardiner also said the iwi shouldn’t be surprised about the $3.3m write-off because it has been in the tribe’s annual reports since 2009. But personally I think that it shouldn't be swept under the carpet because it is historical. Surely there are lessons to be learnt. What do you reckon?