22 Oct 2013

Goulter says decision to leave Ngapuhi personal

1:33 pm on 22 October 2013

The chairman of Ngapuhi Asset Holdings, Sir John Goulter, says he's bowing out for personal reasons - not because of any issues with the iwi or its commercial arm.

Sir John told the Ngapuhi Runanga's AGM last weekend that he was not seeking re-election as chair of the holding company.

The announcement prompted claims in social media that Sir John is unhappy with the iwi's progress, but he says that's not the case.

He says Ngapuhi is in good heart, and leading the company has been a great experience, but after six years at the helm, there are other things in his life he wants to spend time on.

Sir John remains the chair of Ngapuhi's joint venture fishing company, its most lucrative asset, while Ngapuhi Asset director Leigh Auton will take over as chair of the holding company in December.

Sir John says he has urged Ngapuhi to find more important roles for its many talented young people and he is certain it will.

Ngapuhi this week reported a $7 million increase in its value, with assets now worth $50 million, including a service station, bookstore and three commercial buildings.

The iwi has yet to negotiate the settlement of its treaty claims, worth an estimated $180 million.