Gisborne Holdings Ltd was established in 1998, with the intention of running council’s commercial investments. It owns Tauwhareparae Farms, which continues to return a healthy profit to council, Waikanae Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, and council’s previously owned commercial property portfolio including the municipal offices and supporting properties. GHL manages community housing on behalf of GDC. GHL has net assets of $123m.
GHL is 100% owned by shareholder Gisborne District Council. Each decision made by the group is focused on benefiting the district, with an annual cash distribution given to GDC.
It was set up to run the Tauwhareparae Farms initially and it made good economic and business sense for it to take over GDC’s commercial portfolio. GHL is better placed to be able to borrow money for the likes of the Fitzherbert Street administration building rebuild. Under GHL stewardship, council’s operations and investments will be grown. That sort of growth is somewhat restricted under council management and direct council ownership GHL is able to use both the capital and return on investment to allow both the growth of the company and benefit to the shareholder.
No. GHL is a separate identity with the aim of doing the best commercial job possible for its shareholder and the community.
GDC leases the Dunstan road pound, Fitzherbert street administration centre, Banks street complex and Te puia service centre.
The biggest advantage of having GHL own and operate businesses on behalf of the council is the ability to make the capital work in a commercial sense. GHL can compete in the commercial world, without the constraints of the political environment.
GHL is a council controlled trading organisation (CCTO), which is common practise within New Zealand local government. Councils can set up organisations to undertake activities on their behalf.
GHL is set key performance targets by GDC, which are outlined in documents that are available to the public. These are the Statement of Intent and the Annual Report. All can be accessed through GDC or Via GHL”s website. The Statement of Intent is a three-yearly document, but revised annually. GHL also does a six monthly report which is presented in an open forum to council. The company will do public updates on activities through press releases and to council.
GHL looks for the best company to do the project – large projects require experience. Throughout the tender process GHL looks closely at a company’s previous track record and the size of works completed. Where possible local sub contractors are used. The ultimate aim of GHL is to return a bigger and growing distribution to GDC.