Date Created: September 20, 2019
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui, through its investment arm Te Ngakinga o Whanganui Trust (Te Ngakinga), announced they have purchased the buildings comprising the former St Georges School site in Grey St, Whanganui from the YMCA, in a joint venture with Whanganui District Council Holdings Ltd (WDCHL).
Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui is the post settlement governance entity for Whanganui Iwi for the purpose of the Whanganui River Settlement and was established on 4 August 2014.
Gerrard Albert, Chair of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki, is pleased that Te Ngakinga has entered its first local economic investment. “Enduring relationships stem from cultivating both fiscal as well as social currency with our local community” said Mr Albert.
WDCHL Chair Annette Main said, “The joint purchase is a significant partnership, which recognises the mutual goal of benefit to the community through local investment. The Whanganui District Council is our shareholder, and we are pleased that they have the confidence in the joint venture to provide benefits back to Whanganui ratepayers.”
The purchase is a proactive move to secure a noteworthy site in the central city, which will provide additional classroom facilities for the growth of numbers of commercial student pilots at NZICPA, following the announcement of a contract with Indigo Airlines to train their cadets.
Deputy Chair of Nga Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui and Te Ngakinga trustee, Dr Rāwiri Tinirau, said Te Ngakinga had been assessing investment options locally for some time and the potential for expansion of aviation-based training in Whanganui was exciting.
“Looking forward, we will assess the potential of the site to develop additional training opportunities in the aviation industry. However, future expansion won’t disqualify current utilisation of the land and buildings” Mr Tinirau said.
The parties are pleased to be able to retain YMCA as a tenant for the foreseeable future, and that the services they provide to the community will continue.
NZICPA Chair Matt Doyle, also the deputy chair of WDCHL, saw the opportunity to aquire the property and is pleased with the way the purchase has been achieved, particularly the joint venture with Whanganui Iwi.
He said “When we originally purchased the Flight School, we knew that this had the potential to grow and that the provision of aviation training would become a key factor in Whanganui’s economic development. We have always considered investment from within our community will deliver the best outcome for Whanganui.
The associated benefits across the community are already obvious, and while our international contracts have different requirements, our existing group of private local and international students are based in local commercial accommodation, and contributing widely to our economy.”
Whanganui’s Mayor Hamish McDouall said, “I am pleased to see the former St. George’s site secured through a joint venture between Te Ngakinga and Whanganui Holdings. Council can see the potential for a high profile location for extended aviation-related education, to the benefit of ratepayers”