Dutch Royals impressed with Ngāi Tahu advancements

By Aroha Treacher
  • South Island

The Dutch Royals have their eyes on one of New Zealand's most asset rich tribes. South Island iwi Ngāi Tahu welcomed King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima and gave them an insight into their $1bil entity.

The royal couple are in New Zealand for a three-day visit and heading to Ngāi Tahu was on the list.

Ngāi Tahu chair Mark Solomon says, “They wanted to come and have a look at what we've done the Queen as I understand is an economist and she's interested in how our growth has been so she wanted to come and see it.”

King Willem-Alexander told the crowd today, “You're doing such great work for your people so that they can thrive in this century."

Since settling in 1998, Ngāi Tahu has now turned into a Māori powerhouse, its business arm invests in 19 different entities.

Ngāi Tahu Runanga CEO Arihia Bennet, “We know that the Royal Couple have an interest in the agricultural sector so it's an opportunity for us to share our developments, both economically, culturally, socially, environmentally.”

Ngāi Tahu are not currently exporting anything into the Netherlands but say they are always open to opportunities.

“At the moment we don't have much going into Europe at all most of our markets are China, America etc but we're always looking for new markets,” says Solomon.

A royal opportunity for the iwi ahead of the couple’s final day tomorrow when they will end their New Zealand tour in Auckland.