Gisborne Holdings Limited (GHL) is a Council Controlled Trading Organisation (CCTO), wholly owned by Gisborne District Council (GDC). It is managed by an independent board of directors who are committed to the region – all live, work and play here and are driven to provide for the district, with all distributions generated by GHL’s interests paid to Gisborne District Council where they are reinvested back into the local community.
GHL was originally established as Gisborne Port Limited in 1998 and owned both the local Port and Tauwhareparae Farms Limited (TFL). The 11,000 hectare farms had their origins as an endowment to the Port. Following the sale of the Port by Council to Eastland Community Trust (ECT), the company was renamed Gisborne Holdings Limited. The long-term intention was for GHL to run Council’s commercial investments but this wasn’t progressed beyond the farms until 2015.
TFL, a sheep and cattle farm running 60,000 stock units, benchmarks well against its peer group in terms of both production and profitability. It is one of the biggest pastoral farms in the North Island. GHL has successfully overseen and grown TFL from $20m to a value of $64m, with a regular profit returned to Council. In 2015 GHL took over ownership of a number of Council’s commercial investments, including Gisborne Vehicle Testing, Council’s commercial property portfolio including the municipal offices, supporting properties. It also manages Council’s commercial forestry and community housing interests. GHL is better placed than GDC to grow and maximise profit from Council’s commercial investments. The investment portfolio is now worth approximately $77 million as at 30th June 2016.
The Council, as the 100% shareholder, has the ability to set strategic objectives for GHL as well as retains the right to approve material transactions. Council’s aim is for GHL to grow the total investment portfolio while taking advantage of commercial opportunities across the investment base. The long-term aim is to significantly increase the return to GDC.