The $10 million dollar question…

A great piece of detective work by Chris over at Waikato Politix uncovering Mike Pohio and Nathan Yorke’s massive $10,000,000 Taupo investment flop. They would have preferred that the scandal remain hidden from us…. but the truth always gets out aye boys!

Those blindfolded chimpanzees at Tainui Group Holdings were desperate for the tribe’s $70 million relativity clause payment to cover their gambling investment losses!

If Tainui Group Holdings can’t even get a $10 mil resort for rich folks (not for you) up and running —why on earth should we trust them to gamble the entire tribal assets (you know that belong to us) on a glorified $3 billion dollar truck stop??

The business of failure

What to do with a failed investment of almost $10-million?  Hide it of course …

Once upon time the owners of a 230-HA property located on the N-W shores of Lake Taupo proposed for development a number of high quality residential villas & clubhouse facilities surrounding an international standard 18-hole golf course on the property. In other words a ‘play-pen’ for te kingitanga & the rich.


Attracted by the chance of being ‘big-time‘ developers along came TGH boys Tama Potaka & Mike Pohio. The pair (as directors of Tainui Development Ltd) [TDL] decided to participate in the development & agreed with the property owners (Bella’s Trustee Ltd) to establish an unincorporated joint venture called Boat Harbour JV & signed a JV agreement involving four parties.


TDL then established a nominee company Boat Harbour Ventures Ltd [BHV] for the purpose. Its directors were TGH staffers Mike Pohio & Nathan York.


  • BHV paid $9,800,000 for the property (our money).
  • TDL contributed $6,552,000 (also our money).
  • Two other partners each contributed $1,924,000 ($3,848,000).
  • The excess $600,000 was retained as working capital for the JV.

2008 saga

Between March 2008 & Oct 2008 the partners took various steps to develop the property.


In Oct 2008 more dosh was required so TDL kicked in a further $301,796.63.

Two other partners contributed a further $177,245.64.


By late 2008 rapid deterioration of the domestic & global economies occurred. Coupled with the high risk to achieve resource consents for the project the continuation of the development was not commercially feasible & presented too high an investment risk.


Registered valuers Jones Lang LaSalle valued the property: $3,000,000 + GST.


Due diligence ignored or just did not happen?
Did the TGH in-house directors of TD Ltd & BHV Ltd scream bloody murder before seeking summary judgement against its partners? What the hell kind of due diligence was undertaken by N York & M Pohio before coughing up our money?  These two took their eye off the ball distracted by the baubles of power & glory which has ended ignominiously for them & for the 60,000+ members. And they want our relativity millions – purportedly for ‘diversification’?


In 2010 this matter came before the High Court in Hamilton.

Hi ho off to Court they go & wrangled with the niceties or not so nice of commercial contract law & how to get specific performance from the very complicated JV-pre-nuptial agreement.


One idea was to seek an order for sale of the property.

There were express termination terms in the pre-nup but not everyone agreed. One partner refused & argy-bargy & delays occurred. In the end the parties agreed to sell the property.


Yes! But for what price & when & how & who was going to get what dosh back?


High Court called the upshots

The Court determined TDL was entitled to payment of its initial contribution of $6,552,000 (plus 12 per cent per annum capitalised interest of $1,572,480) ($786,240 x 2 years) plus $301,796.63 before the others got any dosh.


Neither TDL nor its partners were successful entirely with the positions which they initially advanced. On the question relating to the October 2008 payments that matter was set down for trial – BUT that trial did not eventuate.


Vital – unanswered questions survive.

  • Whether the parties settled out of court is the $8,426,276.63 question.
  • Whether the property sold for $3,000,000 is also unknown.
  • Whether we (as owners & shareholders) were ever going to be told of this?
  • Will we be told about other ‘wheeling & dealing‘ failures where the boys got to practice being ‘big-time developers‘ & with our millions?
  • TGHs keeps damaging its crediblity with own goals leaving serious questions.
  • After this disaster for it to claim it is meeting its fiduicary duties is just nonsense.
  • This is settlement money wasted on a failed investment & on legal costs.
  • Will M Pohio & T Potaka & N Yorkbe punished?  They all deserve to be sacked. Will they be? Of course not. All are indemnified.

Some 2008 annual report bits

@ page 7: ‘property slowdown .. however still proceeding with planned developments & on the shores of Lake Taupo’ …


@ page 18 of 39: ‘OTUTIRA | TAUPO. This project, on a former Landcorp farm to the west of Taupo, will see development of an international standard golf course, 5-star plus resort & luxury villas with recreation & leisure components over-looking Lake Taupo. This development is a joint venture (currently known as ‘Boat Harbour Ventures’) between TGH, Acuity Trust & Bella’s Investment Trust. As well as the golf course, it is planned to develop other recreational facilities suitable for mountain biking & other pursuits. Discussions are underway with an internationally renowned hotel operator to provide the hotel accommodation & club-house facilities. The project will be built in stages &, subject to resource consent approval & achieving required investment hurdle rates, is expected to be commenced within the next 18 to 24 months.’


@ page 35 of 39: ‘In March 2008, TDL entered into a JVA to develop land located in Taupo. The joint venture is referred to as Boat Harbour Ventures.


Some 2009 annual report bits

@ page 5:  ‘Led to the deferral of some potential developments, specifically the listing of a property we own at Otutira near Taupo for sale.’


Some 2010 legal action

In 2010 TDL filed for a summary judgement against its JV partners seeking specific performance after learning the value of the property was worth only $3,000,000. And for which its JV BHV company had paid $9,800,000.



Back to the Future

On 8 October 2013: Tama Potaka (TGH) filed documents with NZ Companies Office for voluntary de-registration.


On 25 March 2014: Tama Potaka (TGH) Ltd filed documents signed on behalf of the shareholders of Boat Harbour Ventures Ltd [Tainui Development Ltd & Tainui Corporation Ltd] the directors of whom are M Pohio & T Potaka.


Voluntary deregistration



Notice of Intent to Remove:  The Registrar of Companies is satisfied that the company has ceased to carry on business and has initiated action to remove it from the register. Public notice has been given. If you object to its removal, contact the company in the first instance. If this is not possible, lodge your objection before 5pm on 06 May 2014 by selecting this link


Incorporation Date: 19 Dec 2007

Registered Office: 6 Bryce St, Hamilton Central 3204.

Address for service: 6 Bryce St, Hamilton Central 3204.


Directors:  (Both are employed by TGH).

Michael Eric POHIO – Hamilton 3204.

Nathan James YORK – Hamilton 3216.


Shareholders in Allocation:

TAINUI DEVELOPMENT LTD: 6 Bryce St Hamilton Central 3204.

4,440 shares (37.00%)


TAINUI CORPORATION LTD: 6 Bryce St Hamilton Central 3204.

7,560 shares (63.00%)


Shareholders historic: 

  • BELLA’S TRUSTEE LTD – Vacation Date: 05 Nov 2010.
  • ACUITY TRUSTEE LTD – Vacation Date: 05 Nov 2010.
  • TGH LTD – Vacation Date: 07 Mar 2008.



Voluntary De-Registration

Filed by: Tama William POTAKA (TGH).


Registered Voluntary De-Registration Details

Application Made By Shareholder: Tainui Development Ltd


Grounds for Removal

The company (BHV Ltd) has ceased to carry on business, has discharged in full its liabilities to all its known creditors & has distributed its surplus assets in accordance with its constitution & the Companies Act 1993 [318(2)(a)]


Attached Documents

IRD Letter IRDLTR6500540331712276290.pdf

Special Resolution of Shareholders (Removal) SRREM5136777660852753862.pdf


Here is the 2010 High Court decision. Read it & weep.

Tainui Development Ltd v Bella’s Trustee Ltd HC Hamilton CIV 2009-414-1582 [2010] NZHC 1165 (24 June 2010)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Makerealbany
    May 03, 2014 @ 17:09:18

    No we should not trust them. Their Investment record speaks for its self. As a pensioner I would not trust them to buy me a Gold Card Bus Ticket. What’s up with these clowns ? They are idiots. For goodness sake how long are we going to just sit by and watch the future of our Tamariki and Mokopuna flit down the drain that they, our so called experts are digging deeper and wider every day.


  2. Shocked Reader
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 09:22:41

    Holly heck I am glad that I stumbled on this very informative blog. To think I was just about to invite Mad Mike to a forum as a guess speaker up Northland. Offer withdrawn, what a bunch of crooks, John Spencer that rightwing mongrel is on the Board. Good grief watch him, a classic ticket clipper.


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