Waiapu Investments Limited is a new investment company created by charitable company Hikurangi Enterprises to enable members of our community and supporters everywhere to have a real stake in the ventures Hikurangi Group is developing.
Hikurangi Group includes a number of commercial entities with a focus on truly sustainable economic development for the East Coast region. With a commitment to both the whenua and whanau, the focus has been on developing high value natural health products with strong science proving their effectiveness. While a number of existing projects already have private investment partners, Waiapu Investments provides a way for more whanau to own shares in the enterprises being developed.
Developing a registered medicine from cannabis that is grown, processed and licensed in New Zealand is a top priority for the Hikurangi Group and will be the first project to receive investor funds from Waiapu Investments.
Hikurangi Bioactives Limited Partnership is a joint venture between Hikurangi Enterprises and New Zealand Nutraceuticals Limited established in 2016. Hikurangi Bioactives has raised funds for research into the health potential of extracts from species as diverse as kīna, kānuka and fungi. Most of this research is being undertaken by universities and research organisations in New Zealand with very positive early results. Waiapu Investments will have opportunities to contribute investor funds to gain a share of ownership in the Intellectual Property and products being developed in these projects that is held by Hikurangi Cannabis Company Limited via Hikurangi Hemp Holdings Limited.
The board of Waiapu Investments Limited is appointed by Hikurangi Enterprises. The inaugural board comprises:
- Panapa Ehau: Co-founder of Hikurangi Enterprises, Panapa grew up in Ruatoria and returned to the Coast five years ago with his young family after two decades of study, travel and business experience.
- Kevin Dell: A commercial lawyer with his own legal practice in Southland for over 30 years, Kevin recently retired with his wife Hinetu to Ruatoria.
- Jacqui Poutu: A Māori governance expert with a background in tertiary education leadership, Jacqui is based in Wellington.
- Carey Manuel: A Ngati Porou lawyer based in Tauranga, Carey specialises in investment vehicles for Post-Settlement Governance Entities, iwi organisation and Māori trusts.
While Hikurangi Enterprises will be the only shareholder with voting rights, the charitable company will offer most of the ownership in Waiapu Investments first to East Coast residents and then the wider public in February 2018 via the PledgeMe equity crowdfunding platform.
Over 1,500 people have already registered interest in the opportunity to own shares in Waiapu Investments. The minimum investment will be very low and the PledgeMe share offer can raise up to $2 million.
The funds raised through the crowdfunding offer will be used by Waiapu Investments to buy shares in a joint venture between Hikurangi Bioactives Limited Partnership and Waiapu Investments intended to produce the first New Zealand grown and licensed medical cannabis products.
The board of Waiapu Investments will act in the best interests of the company and will have full authority to make decisions about how much, if any, funds to invest in specific projects including medical cannabis initially. These decisions will be based on the information provided in business plans and Information Memoranda for potential investors prepared by the relevant entities involved. There are likely to be other investors and co-owners also involved in each venture, sometimes Waiapu Investments will have the opportunity to appoint board members for the venture and other times it will be a completely passive shareholder.
Biotechnology, life sciences and natural health products development are high risk investments and while the rewards from developing novel treatments for health conditions can be massive, there is a real risk that the investment made in science and clinical trials is not successful.
Because we are using a crowdfunding platform to raise funds we are obliged to provide a standard warning statement about the risks associated with equity crowdfunding: Equity crowdfunding is risky. Issuers using this facility include new or rapidly growing ventures. Investment in these types of business is very speculative and carries high risks. You may lose your entire investment, and must be in a position to bear this risk without undue hardship. New Zealand law normally requires people who offer financial products to give information to investors before they invest. This requires those offering financial products to have disclosed information that is important for investors to make an informed decision. The usual rules do not apply to offers by issuers using this facility. As a result, you may not be given all the information usually required. You will also have fewer other legal protections for this investment. Ask questions, read all information given carefully, and seek independent financial advice before committing yourself.
In the future Waiapu Investments may purchase shares in other ventures being developed by Hikurangi Bioactives or other ventures Hikurangi Enterprises is involved with, some of these ventures may eventually be listed companies. At this stage we are not planning for Waiapu Investments to use investors funds to purchase a stake in companies that Hikurangi Group are not associated with.