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Q&A: Temuera Hall from TAHITO


We caught up with Temuera Hall, co-founder and Managing Director of TAHITO, to find out more about the TAHITO Te Tai o Rehua (Trans-Tasman) Fund (TAHITO)—a managed fund focused on ethical and sustainable investing.

Q&A: Temuera Hall from TAHITO

TAHITO uses Māori ancestral knowledge to select companies in the fund. Currently, the fund invests in companies listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) and Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Why was TAHITO started? 

Temuera Hall, TAHITO co-founder and Managing Director.
Temuera Hall, TAHITO co-founder and Managing Director.

TAHITO started from the meeting of minds and the blending of worlds. We had the conviction that a Māori-indigenous, ethical, and sustainable-based offering would appeal to a growing portion of the community. 

Myself (Temuera Hall) and my long-time friend and colleague Chris Winitana are the architects of TAHITO. The Investment Services Group (ISG) were keen to support this innovative approach as they embarked on their sustainability journey. After two years of research and development in partnership with ISG, TAHITO Limited was established.

While we were comfortable with our respective finance and investment knowledge, and cultural wisdom, we acknowledged that we were on an innovative journey into new territory—to blend the Māori world with the world of finance. 

We’re applying our ancestral Māori knowledge to benefit future generations. We want to leave a better world for our tamariki (children) and mokopuna (grandchildren).

How does TAHITO differ from other managed funds?

TAHITO is a unique way of measuring companies using Māori ancestral knowledge, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data capture technology, and strong financial analysis. 

Key features of the TAHITO Te Tai o Rehua Fund include:

  • Companies in the fund need to meet rigorous requirements such as: no fossil fuels, a low carbon footprint, diversity in governance and senior management, and a high ESG quality

  • Positive investment screening: our screening process has over 50 quantitative and qualitative measures to ensure your investment is applied ethically and sustainably with positive social and environmental purpose. You can read more about these measures (also known as a TAHITO score, or T score) on our website.

  • Negative screens: negative business involvement screens are conducted to ensure alignment to our ethics and to check that we haven’t missed any non-compliant business activities in the positive screen process.   

  • The fund has outperformed its market index to date (past performance does not guarantee future returns).

  • The TAHITO investment team backs its decisions with robust and thorough financial analysis, research, and portfolio construction with a focus on long-term, sustainable growth and resilience. 

  • Institutional administration and compliance: TAHITO Limited, its products and services, are part of the Investment Services Group.

As some sectors have few to no investments that meet our ethical and sustainability threshold (like the resource or industrial sector), we may experience periods of underperformance when these sectors perform well (mining as a good example). However, with our sustainability bias and disciplined approach to risk management, we aim to outperform the broader Trans-Tasman share markets over the long term.

Who is TAHITO for?

The fund may suit investors who: 

  • want their investment funds aligned to a high level of values and principles

  • want their investment to be sustainably managed across a diversified portfolio of primarily Australian and New Zealand listed companies

  • would like to see their capital applied ethically in investments with positive social and environmental purposes, all while achieving competitive financial returns.

Note: Speak to a licenced financial advice provider for specific advice relating to your financial situation.

What does ethical investing mean to TAHITO? 

The Māori worldview is relational and interconnected, and its foundation is captured in whakapapa (genealogy). Whakapapa maps connection; ‘Everything is interrelated, nothing exists of itself’.

Māori ethics put people and the environment first because both are fundamental to living and thriving. This thinking falls out of the ancestral Māori worldview which centres on connection and the interdependence of all things. The Māori worldview ultimately follows nature’s models:

  • its ethics strive for balance and consensuality 

  • its behaviour is complementary and co-operational 

  • its target is reciprocity and harmony.

What kinds of ethical screens do you derive from Māori values? 

In applying our indigenous ethical lens, we’re looking for behavioural qualities in companies that align with the value statements we’ve derived from our traditional knowledge:

  1. Whanaungatanga (tō ao)—Relational (display connectivity and value relationships) 

  2. Whakapapa (tō mana)—Interdependent (serious about ethics and values) 

  3. Whakarongo (tō hiwa)—Balanced (hold people and environment in high priority)

  4. Whakatau (tō kaha)—Consensual (open and transparent)

  5. Honotahi (tō wairua)—Complementary (equity, sharing wealth)

  6. Utu (tō mauri)—Reciprocal (care for and give back to the local communities)

  7. Mahitahi (tō tapu)—Co-operational (strong, competent leaders with a high awareness) 

  8. Humarie (tō mārama)—Harmony (willing to compromise, adapt and engage new ideas)

  9. Kawa (tō ora)—Cyclical (long term intergenerational and sustainable growth potential)

The investment process that underpins TAHITO is effectively measuring ‘Aroha Connection’. By increasing your aroha (your level of connectivity), you increase your mauri (or life force), and we are on track to making the world a better place. 

We’re measuring the transition of companies from the substantive (internally focused, very self-absorbed behaviours), to the ideal relational (externally connected, collective behaviours). We look for leadership with a high level of compassion and selflessness.

For example, under Whanaungatanga tō ao we are looking at the company values, their vision, mission, and purpose. Under Whakarongo tō hiwa we screen for women directors and women senior executive managers. Under Honotahi tō wairua we are measuring community engagement and support. 

What kind of impact are you trying to create with TAHITO?

Our fund is a contribution toward a new global story of equity, sustainability, and diversity. By investing in the fund, people are choosing to direct their capital to support businesses that TAHITO believe are more likely to achieve a positive social impact. 

In order to achieve impactful social and economic purpose, you first need leadership with the right belief, compassion, and behaviours. We define this as being leaders who:  

  • believe that to create equity, environmental sustainability and regeneration we need to avoid further concentration of wealth and wealth polarization 

  • strive for a quantum shift in economics—prioritizing community and environmental wellbeing over profit

  • are committed to ‘a new story’ of how we want the world to be.

The ideal is aspirational—we can only start a journey toward that destination, as did our tīpuna (ancestors) when navigating by the stars.   

Find out more

You can find out more about TAHITO on their website, and find Te Tai o Rehua (Trans-Tasman) Fund on Sharesies.

You can also check out our Lunch Money webinar with Temuera Hall:

Before investing, make sure to do your due diligence, consider your risk appetite, and look at how these shares might fit within your wider investment strategy and Portfolio. Speak to a licenced financial advice provider for financial advice specific to your financial situation.

Ok, now for the legal bit

Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.

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