Waikato-Tainui selling shares in Hamilton shopping centre

Waikato-Tainui's financial arm, Tainui Group Holdings, is selling 50% of their stake in The Base Shopping Centre in Hamilton for $192.5mil. Te Arataura Chair Rahui Papa says the deal is a step toward fulfilling the tribe's other aspirations.

This $192.5 million deal means the tribe can get on with other priorities.

Chairman for Te Ara Taura, Rahui Papa, Heamana says, “We can increase the financial return from the deal to the tribe. So that we can acquire more land, do more projects, and fund social initiatives for the tribe.”

Kiwi Property has brought the shares, which includes a 120-year ground lease but not the underlying land, which will remain with the tribe under the Pōtatau Te Wherowhero land title.

According to Papa the land will remain with the iwi, “In 120 years, everything returns to us. They won't own the land that will stay with us, however, the running of the centre, will return to us.”

For months, TGH has been considering offers from both overseas and New Zealand before the tribe decided on the New Zealand Property Investment Company - Kiwi Property.

“They are experts in running these types of shopping centres, they are one of the New Zealand companies who have been doing this well, with a long track record,” says Papa.

On the table is a further offer by Kiwi property to purchase the balance of the shares at the base, for $197.5 million.  Group Holdings and the tribal will consider the offer over the next few weeks.

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta says, “They should wait, to see results from this, to see any benefits, before they sell the rest.”

The tribe will keep one hectare of land for a possible Whānau Ora Centre in the future. The deal is due to be settled on 31 May.