INTHEBLACK August 2021 - Magazine - Page 48
STORY BELINDA PARKES PHOTOGRAPHY MARCUS BAILEY
THE LONG AND
TA N A H U ATA A S A L O O K S B A C K W I T H G R AT I T U D E O N T H E S E R I E S O F
U N E X P E C T E D T W I S T S A N D T U R N S T H AT H AV E P R E S E N T E D T H E M S E LV E S
A L O N G H I S C H O S E N C A R E E R PAT H .
ane Huata ASA used to dream about making
movies for a living. His vision had him busking
on the streets with his guitar, while he worked
on breaking into the film industry.
More than a decade on, Huata is now firmly
focused on managing the commercial portfolio of
the NZ$105 million (A$98 million) Heretaunga
Tamatea Settlement Trust, the result of the 2015
historical settlement between the Maori people of
Heretaunga Tamatea and the NZ Government as a
redress for historical wrongs.
He may not have set out to make his career in
finance, but Huata believes the twists and turns along
his path were needed to prepare him for his role with
the Settlement Trust.
It is a role that holds significant importance to his
family and community. As the Settlement Trust’s
commercial analyst, Huata has helped develop the
investment policy, objectives and strategy, create an
investment framework and scorecard, as well as
conduct the due diligence that comes with assessing
new commercial opportunities.
“Moving to the Settlement Trust was a career
highlight for me,” Huata says. “I wanted something
dynamic, where I felt I was making a difference, and
something I could feel passionately about.”
“You have to back yourself.
If you feel like you are not
ready for the role, or the
right person for the job, you
have to find a way to believe
in yourself, or the self-doubt
will hold you back.”
48 ITB August 2021
Family responsibility and connection have
influenced Huata’s entire career. After leaving
school, he spent a gap year overseas, but his
“feather-in-the-wind” adventure ended at the urging
of his mother. She believed it was time for her son
to get a qualification behind him, so Huata returned
to New Zealand and enrolled in film school.
In 2011, when his younger sister headed off to
university, Huata decided to join her. Coming from a
family of seven, all with university degrees, he didn’t
want to be the only one without one, and he figured
his aspirations to start his own business – perhaps a
music recording studio – would have a better chance
of success if he improved his business acumen.