Investing in Far North communities and businesses

Far North District Council (FNDC) established Far North Holdings Limited (FNHL) to act as a vehicle for delivery of the Council’s commercial activities. Our small team manages property and infrastructure assets across the District on behalf of Far North ratepayers.

We also do heaps of work on development and community projects to help boost investment and employment in the Far North.

FNDC is our only shareholder and we report to the Council quarterly at meetings which ratepayers are free to attend.

We are governed by an independent, professionally-appointed Board. The directors are all independent directors appointed by the FNDC from time to time. They are responsible for overseeing the management of the company according to the goals and objectives captured in our Statement of Intent. This is reviewed and agreed annually with FNDC.

FNHL is required to operate responsibly and profitably and return 50% of its annual net profit to the FNDC which it uses to supplement rates. The remaining 50% of annual net profit is reinvested by FNHL in infrastructure or new business opportunities.

FNDC estimates that without income generated by Far North Holdings, general rates would have been about four percent higher each year.

Although the Far North Holdings Board and management team reports directly to the FNDC the company’s ultimate beneficiaries are the communities of the Far North.

Our efforts have:

  • encouraged commercial investment and development right across the district, on both coasts
  • encouraged over 460 overseas cruising yachts a year to enter NZ through the Bay of Islands
  • boosted the marine services industry in the Bay of Islands
  • supported the creation of over 60 new businesses in Opua alone
  • secured the visits of 50 cruise ships annually to the Bay of Islands, carrying 70,000 passengers
  • helped Air New Zealand boost its daily services into and out of Bay of Islands Airport
  • secured recreational maritime facilities across the district
  • raised environmental standards right across the NZ marina industry

Unlike most New Zealand companies, FNHL will invest in and manage opportunities that are less profitable than is normal in the commercial market, if such opportunities have a clearly identifiable benefit to the ratepayers in the Far North – such as additional employment or attracting third party investment to the district.

Since 2011 and under the current management team, the annual dividend paid to FNDC has grown from zero to $1.097m for the 2018/19 financial year, and the company’s assets have grown from $48m to $112m.

Last financial year (2018/2019) we invested $13m, and $4.1m of Provincial Growth Fund money, in building and improving publicly-owned assets across the district.

In the 2018/19 financial year we invested $17m of new capital in the Far North. This new capital was a combination of conventional bank funding and grants from the government’s Provincial Growth Fund, which triggered many projects that would have been delayed or were struggling to attract funding.