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Matanuku Mahuika appointed Chairperson of Eastland Group

Last week Gisborne-based infrastructure company Eastland Group announced a record-breaking year. Income rose to $97 million, profit increased to $20.1 million, and they paid a record $12.1 million to sole shareholder Eastland Community Trust.

At the same time, changes to the board were announced, with directors Mike Glover and Kieran Devine retiring by rotation, and Fiona Mules and Chair Keith Sutton resigning.

On Thursday [23 May] the Eastland Group board announced the appointment of director Matanuku Mahuika to the role of Chairperson.

“It is a privilege to be trusted with the role of Chair for the Eastland Group,” Mr Mahuika said.

“Eastland Group is important to our community and significant change to the board has the potential to be unsettling for the company. However, the management team and staff have again delivered an excellent profit result for the company, the shareholder and the community. I look forward to continuing to work with them and my fellow directors to build on that result.”

Mr Mahuika also paid tribute to the departed directors. “It is important to acknowledge the enormous contribution of Keith, Fiona, Mike and Kieran. It is great that people of this calibre are willing to come to our region and play a role in Eastland Group. Their hard work and dedication has helped to enable the continuing strong performance of Eastland Group.”

Gisborne-based Mr Mahuika joined the Eastland Group board in October 2016. He is a lawyer and founding partner of the firm Kahui Legal, and has held a wide variety of board roles including former deputy chair of Aotearoa Fisheries Limited and chairman of Sealord Group Limited.

He is the current chairman of Ngāti Porou Holding Company Ltd, and a director of Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou Trustee Company Limited and the New Zealand Merino Company Limited. He’s also a member of the New Zealand Geographic Board, and a former Trustee of the Eastland Community Trust.

Eastland Group’s other directors are John Rae and Tony Gray, who are both long-serving members of the board with wide-ranging expertise.

Mr Rae has been on the Eastland Group board since 2011. He has broad management and directorial experience in a variety of business sectors, and is chairman of Activate Tairāwhiti and the Corson Group of companies.

Mr Gray was appointed to the Eastland Group board in 2013. He is based in Hawkes Bay and is executive project advisor to the Hastings District Council. He has been chief financial officer at Hastings District Council, Mighty River Power and TVNZ.

Eastland Community Trust Chair Dr Paul Reynolds welcomed Mr Mahuika into the new role.

“Matanuku has a wealth of national experience and local knowledge that has greatly benefited Eastland Group over the past few years,” said Dr Reynolds.

Eastland Group Chief Executive Matt Todd also welcomed Mr Mahuika’s appointment.

“The company’s success over a long period of time is based around a proven business model, a very capable management team, and an experienced and supportive board. The company is stronger than it has ever been.

Matanuku’s appointment reinforces this, with Eastland Group poised to continue to grow and prosper for the benefit of the community.”

Three new directors will be recruited to augment the board’s existing skill sets. With recruitment now underway, ECT will be looking to ensure that an appropriate mixture of relevant financial/commercial, operational business and corporate governance skills and capabilities - along with good diversity and regional understanding and commitment - are around the board table.

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