Ngai Tahu to expand into Auckland market, led by Eden Park boss Kennedy
By Suze Metherell
June 11 (BusinessDesk) - Ngāi Tahu Property, the property investor of the dominant South Island iwi, is entering the Auckland market and has snagged Eden Park Trust boss David Kennedy to lead the expansion.
Kennedy will leave the Auckland stadium, where he was responsible for a $270 million upgrade in preparation for the Rugby World Cup, in late August to become general manager of the iwi's Auckland property unit, Ngāi Tahu said in a statement. The property investor, developer and rural land ownership specialist currently has assets valued at more than $600 million.
“After appropriate investigation and analysis, Ngāi Tahu Property has decided to expand the business to include the Auckland market," said Tony Sewell, chief executive of Ngāi Tahu Property. "The company has experienced successful growth in the South Island and is ideally placed to maximise the significant opportunities in the property development sector in Auckland.”
Last year, Ngāi Tahu said its property business boosted earnings before interest and tax by 66 percent to $63.4 million in the year ended June 30, its third record result, with strong sales in its Christchurch residential developments, and its Eyrewell farming development coming on stream and delivering results above budget.
The iwi has been diversifying its investment portfolio, including joint investments with Waikato's Tainui Group Holdings in dairy technology manufacturer Waikato Milking Systems and national passenger transport firm Go Bus.
In a separate announcement, Eden Park chair Doug McKay congratulated Kennedy on the new role and said the hunt for a replacement had begun.