Waiapu Investments Limited is an investment company created by charitable company Hikurangi Enterprises Limited to enable members of our community and supporters everywhere to have a real stake in the ventures Hikurangi Group is developing.
Developing a registered medicine from cannabis that is grown, processed and licensed in New Zealand is a top priority and Waiapu Investments decided this would be the first project to receive investor funds from Waiapu Investments.
The board of Waiapu Investments is appointed by Hikurangi Enterprises Ltd. The board currently 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.
- Sheryl Smail: Sheryl is a professional director, a chartered member of the Institute of Directors with broad governance experience, and has served on the boards of Tairāwhiti Polytechnic and EIT Tairāwhiti.
While Hikurangi Enterprises is the only shareholder with voting rights, the charitable company is offering most of the ownership in Waiapu Investments to East Coast residents and then the wider public via the PledgeMe equity crowdfundingplatform.
Over 3,000 people registered interest in the opportunity to own shares in Waiapu Investments. The minimum investment was $50 for 50 shares and the PledgeMe share offer in May 2018 raised $2.4 million from nearly 1,500 investors from around New Zealand.
Most of the funds raised through the crowdfunding offer were used by Waiapu Investments to buy shares in a joint venture with Hikurangi Bioactives Limited Partnership to produce medical cannabis products in New Zealand.
The board of Waiapu Investments aim to 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. There are usually other investors and co-owners also involved in each venture, sometimes Waiapu Investments may 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 large, there is a real risk that the investment made in science and clinical trials is not successful.
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. Investors may lose their 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, investors may not be given all the information usually required. Investors will also have fewer other legal protections for this investment. Investors should ask questions, read all information given carefully, and seek independent financial advice before committing any funds.