During the week, Malcolm Short, chairman of Pukeroa Oruawhata Māori Trust, can be seen walking through the Rotorua Central Mall, a place he helped to create.
For over 20 years he’s been the chairman of the Māori Trust that owns the lands where the Central Rotorua Mall sits, as well as key Rotorua inner city locations which includes the Rotorua lakefront.
Short first came onto the Māori Trust in 1982, during that time the reported annual income for the Trust was $14,421 with an asset base of $2.3 million. With a lot of hard work, belief and dedication, the Māori Trust now manages over 175 commercial and residential properties in the Rotorua central business area. It also registered last year to have gross revenue of $12.6 million.
At this year’s Westpac Rotorua Business Awards, Short was awarded the Red Stag Timber Business Person of the Year. He did not attend the event and says that he could not be at two places at the same time because during the awards event he was attending his niece's wedding in Wellington. The award was accepted on his behalf by Monty Morrison.
Short says that one of the highlights during his time as chairman for the Māori Trust has been the successful negotiation between the Trust and Crown for the return of the Rotorua Railway Station lands which has now become the Central Rotorua Mall venue. “During that time the Crown was going to sell the land that is when we stepped forward to make our case, it took three to four years but we got there in the end” Short says.