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Whai Rawa Ceo Rob Hutchison Leaving After Five Years

30 June 2017

News release

Whai Rawa Ceo Rob Hutchison Leaving After Five Years at the Helm

After five years at the helm of Whai Rawa, the commercial arm of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, its inaugural chief executive Rob Hutchison is leaving the organisation in very good shape for the future.

Hutchison, a former Valuer General and CEO of North Shore City Council, said he was at the stage in his career where he wanted to pursue governance opportunities and enjoy more time at his lifestyle property in Muriwai.

His last day as CEO is Friday, 30 June, but he has already been appointed to the Whai Rawa Board so his knowledge and skills will continue to be put to good use for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, says Whai Rawa Chair Michael Stiassny.

Stiassny paid tribute to Hutchison’s achievements, saying he had been instrumental in growing the iwi’s asset base from $356 million in 2012 to close to $1 billion today.

“Rob has been an outstanding CEO, successfully balancing the Board requirements to grow and protect the iwi’s assets while also funding social programmes for the members of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

“From the position of financial strength, we have established a strategy to support aggressive growth in some areas while, at the same time, protecting key land holdings and advancing new housing developments for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei members.

“Rob has also firmly established Whai Rawa’s reputation as a significant property player in the city, building strong relationships with Auckland Council, Government departments, KiwiRail, NZTA and Housing NZ,” said Stiassny.

“As a Board we are committed to providing long-term sustainable benefits for the hapū for generations to come. To help us further that goal, I am very pleased Rob has decided to join us on the Board and look forward to his contributions as a governor.”

Hutchison said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time at Whai Rawa and it had been a privilege to help develop and implement wise investment and development strategies to safeguard the physical assets of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

“You can literally see your work having an impact on a community. Orakei, with the most spectacular views in the city, is just a couple of kilometres from our office, and that is the hapū I have had the privilege of serving for almost six years.

“All of our strategies have been developed to ensure the longevity of any investment, and ensure that the commercial company of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will protect the assets for the future generations of the descendants of Tuperiri. Whai Rawa’s collective view is we can grow the intergenerational wealth of the hapu through smart and considered decision-making.

“I thank the Board for its expert leadership and guidance and am delighted to have been appointed to the Whai Rawa Board where I will continue to see the positive growth of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.”

Hutchison’s stated priorities when he joined Whai Rawa in September 2012 were to create sustainable profit levels, construct affordable housing stock and recruit a top-notch team to run Whai Rawa.

“I feel I have achieved what I set out to do - with year-on-year asset growth, increased equity, more than $22 million invested in housing and $23 million distributed to our social programmes.

“Whai Rawa has a very strong management team and we have also established a number of scholarships and a future director programme to grow the skill-set of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s younger generations,” Hutchison said.

Whai Rawa is now seeking a new CEO. Stiassny said the iwi was casting the net wide to find the right person that can continue to grow and develop Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s commercial asset base. “In the meantime, we are confident Rob’s expert team will take up the challenge to lead Whai Rawa through its next phase.”


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