National | Business

$15m losses so Takitimu Seafoods to close

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc has announced the closure of Takitimu Seafoods Liited today. It includes its retail and online stores, and wholesale business in Ahuriri, affecting 33 staff members.

First opened in 2019, Takitimu Seafoods reported three years of financial losses close to $15 million to its shareholder Ngāti Kahungunu Asset Holdings Company (KAHC), the investment branch of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

KAHC chair Trevor Moeke said that with financial losses likely to continue, on top of a six-week closure due to Cyclone Gabrielle, the full closure comes as a recommendation from the iwi board.

“We have been working hard to right the waka over the past nine months but, ultimately, the business has a directive to be profitable for our iwi, so it can protect the interests of its members, and at the moment it isn’t a viable operation,” Moeke says.

Takitimu Seafood chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said it was a hard decision to close permanently and that supporting the 33 full- and part-time employees was now the top priority. Staff members and the board had a meeting today as part of the consultation process.

“We have tried everything from a restructure last year to cutting back on operational costs but the business is unlikely to return a profit for some time, which it is expected to do,” Tomoana said.

The closure doesn’t affect the fishing quota partnerships with Moana NZ and Sealord.

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