Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, RWCA, and BlueBerryIT: Creating a modern business landscape

No kai moana was taken from this location. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ISHNA JACOBS
No kai moana was taken from this location. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ISHNA JACOBS

Manoli Aerakis (RWCA), Shane Pene(Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō), Butch Bradley (Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō), Allan Willoughby (BlueBerryIT), Richard Butler (BlueBerryIT), Amy Martin (RWCA)



Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe me maunga teitei

Top of the South iwi Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō has built strong relationships with accountants RWCA and IT firm BlueBerryIT to carry good old-fashioned values into a dynamic future.

With a rohe (tribal area) that stretches from the Marlborough Sounds to Nelson Lakes, over to the Kawatiri (Buller) and up to Farewell Spit, and business interests that include investment, fishing, aquaculture, property and tourism, the iwi says its ‘office space’ is huge, “and comes with some pretty amazing views”.

The Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust represents the interests of 2800 iwi members, who expect robust and credible financial reporting, effective budget control and clear accountabilities in the management of iwi wealth. Likewise, solid IT infrastructure has enabled the iwi to use the latest technologies and software to improve workplace efficiency and productivity across the board.

Ngati Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust’s relationship with RWCA is relatively recent at around 12 months, but the iwi identified with a company whose reputation for excellence and quality of service is founded on trust earned over the course of generations. The nature of those accounting services has changed massively, of course, from pencil and ledger to ‘cloud’ wizardry. RWCA is a leading Xero Partner and a Gold Partner with CrunchBoards Reporting, both of which save time and money whilst tracking business performance, plus allowing the flexibility to work from anywhere. “The Trust’s operational team has more time to work on projects, whilst entrusting the compliance part of the business to us,” says RWCA. (The accountants, formerly Richards Woodhouse, have their own long links to Nelson, tracing their genealogy way back to Prosser, Alborough and Richards.)

For their part, BlueBerryIT partnered with the Trust last year to upgrade their IT systems. This delivered better productivity, greater security and more flexibility in IT services. The Trust now has a solid platform for growth and development, says BlueBerryIT, which also enjoys commercial relationships with many other iwi trusts across the region. “These relationships have extended to our support of initiatives such as Computers-in-Homes, and driving greater digital adoption and use among all groups in the community.”

BlueBerryIT, with offices in Nelson and Blenheim, specializes in delivering Microsoft Office 365 solutions to commercial clients. They are strongly focuses on Cloud based business solutions.The firm has been recognised by the Nelson/Tasman Chamber of Commerce in 2008, 2011 & 2014 with awards for Emerging Business, Service Excellence and Mid-Size Business.

Ngati Apa ki te Rā Tō Trust taps into state-of-the-art technology, but say “it is important that our business and trading partners embrace our culture and our Maori world view so we can move forward together in a positive, progressive spirit of understanding and mutual respect”. The Trust also has a keen sense of place, and is “pleased to be working with, and supporting, locally-based companies committed to providing quality, professional services to an extremely high standard”.

It’s a quiet success story that melds three business entities towards a common goal. The relationship spans not just cultures, but uses the future to preserve the past. Valuable traditions now rest securely on a sound financial base.




BlueBerry IT

Nelson Office (03) 548 4923

Blenheim Office (03) 577 9530


Level 3, Whitby House, 7 Alma Street, Nelson

03 548 2369

Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō

0800 578 900

78 Seymour Street, Blenheim