Ngai Tahu firms to hire CEOs

TESS MCCLURE
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2014

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New leadership is on the cards for two of Ngai Tahu's largest companies.

Both Ngai Tahu Seafood and Ngai Tahu Tourism were advertising this week for new chief executives to lead the companies. They are two of the three largest subsidiary companies of Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation.

Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, the tribe which owns the corporation, was also advertising five positions.

These include three policy advice positions, a senior advisory role and environmental adviser. Ngai Tahu representatives would not comment on these vacancies.

Ngai Tahu Seafood supports around 50 Ngai Tahu-owned and operated fishing businesses.

Chief executive Brian Moriarty announced last year that he would be stepping down, and he is due to retire in April.

Ngai Tahu Seafood board chairman Brian Rhodes said Moriarty would "without a doubt" be a loss to the company, having led the business to four record profit years in a row.

He said the company was not in need of revitalisation or overhaul, but was looking to "build momentum and continue on an expansive strategy".

"That [revitalisation] has all been done previously. We're in a position now where if we can simply continue to do what we've been doing, our shareholders will be very satisfied."

He said the board had been aware of Moriarty's retirement plans for some time.

Rhodes said hiring a new chief executive was "a process that one always goes into with trepidation, because these roles are so critical".

After eight years with the company, John Thorburn will be leaving Ngai Tahu Tourism, and taking up a new position as chief executive at Intercity in March.

Ngai Tahu Tourism chairman Ross Keenan said Thorburn had been "a great leader of Ngai Tahu Tourism in its evolutionary stages".

Keenan said Thorburn had left of his own volition, and had "judged it was time to take up a new opportunity".

He said with a new chief executive at the helm, the company would look to have "a significant presence in all the major tourism spots around New Zealand", and was looking the possibility of investing in hot pools in Queenstown.

The Ngai Tahu Tourism businesses include:

Shotover Jet (Queenstown)

Franz Josef Glacier Guides (Franz Josef)

Glacier Hotpools (Franz Josef)

Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park (Rotorua)

Huka Falls Jet (Taupō)

Agrodome (Rotorua)

Dart River Safaris (Queenstown)

Hollyford Track (Fiordland National Park).

The core business of Ngai Tahu Seafood is:

Lobster - export of high quality, live lobster under the TAHU brand.

Wetfish - Ngai Tahu leases its "annual catch entitlement" to partners with agreed catch plans for Ngai Tahu fishers.

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Abalone - Arranged harvest of paua. The paua are processed and marketed under contract by Prepared Foods.

Oysters - Bluff oysters (Tio) marketed under the TAHU brand.

- BusinessDay

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