Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What and who is Waiapu Investments Limited (WIL)? 
  2. Why are WIL shares becoming Rua Bioscience Limited shares?
  3. What and who is Rua Bioscience?
  4. How is the company doing?
  5. What is an IPO and what does it mean to be listed on the NZX?
  6. How many RUA shares will I get for my WIL shares?
  7. Will Tairāwhiti residents get a special opportunity to invest again?
  8. What will be the minimum investment at IPO?
  9. How do WIL shareholders sell or transfer WIL shares?
  10. When are we likely to receive dividends?
  11. Where do I find my shareholder certificate?
  12. Is the company vision still the same?
  13. How will the referendum outcome affect the business strategy of Rua Bioscience?
  14. Who do I contact for more information or to update my contact details?

  • What and who is Waiapu Investments Limited (WIL)? 

Waiapu Investments Limited (WIL) is an investment company created by charitable company Hikurangi Enterprises Limited to enable residents of the East Coast and supporters around Aotearoa NZ to take a financial stake in the early development of medicinal cannabis company Rua Bioscience Ltd (previously known as Hikurangi Cannabis Company Ltd).

The board of Waiapu Investments is appointed by Hikurangi Enterprises Ltd. The current WIL board directors has two directors: Panapa Ehau – Co-founder of Hikurangi Enterprises, Panapa grew up in Ruatorea and returned to the Coast five years ago with his young family after two decades of study, travel and business experience; and 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 in WIL, in May 2018 the company offered most of the ownership in WIL to East Coast residents and then the wider public via the PledgeMe equity crowdfunding platform. The minimum investment was $50 for 50 shares and the PledgeMe offer raised over $2 million from 1,303 investors 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 (60% owned by Hikurangi Enterprises) to produce medical cannabis products in New Zealand. The joint venture was called Hikurangi Hemp Holdings Limited and initially owned 100% of Rua Bioscience (previously named Hikurangi Cannabis Company).

The directors of Waiapu Investments are required to act in the best interests of the company and have full authority to make decisions about how much, if any, funds to invest in specific projects including the medical cannabis venture.

Waiapu Investments shares will convert to Rua Bioscience shares when the company lists on the NZX, expected to be 22 October 2020.


  • Why are WIL shares becoming Rua Bioscience Limited shares?

WIL shareholders bought shares knowing the funds would be invested in the cannabis company. If WIL retained its shares within WIL then WIL shareholders would be disadvantaged compared to Rua Bioscience shareholders – they would not have a direct vote in Rua Bioscience and their shares would not be ‘liquid’ and able to be bought and sold as easily as Rua Bioscience shares. 


  • What and who is Rua Bioscience?

Rua Bioscience Ltd (formerly Hikurangi Cannabis Company Ltd) is a medicinal cannabis company with facilities and staff based in Ruatorea and Tūranganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne). It has licenses to produce medicinal cannabis and a sales deal with a distributor in Germany for medicinal products starting in 2021.

It is currently 35% owned by Hikurangi Hemp Holdings Limited (which is 33% owned by WIL) and other private shareholders. Any dividends generated from Rua Bioscience will be distributed to shareholders. Shareholders in Rua Bioscience will be able to sell their shares via the NZX or through private ‘off market’ sales.


  • How is Rua Bioscience doing?

Rua Bioscience is doing very well so far. It has continued to be a leader in New Zealand securing one of the first commercial licenses under the new Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, completing purpose-built cultivation and processing facilities in Ruatorea and medicine manufacturing facilities in Gisborne along with pharmaceutical cannabis extraction capability and an analytical laboratory. For more on Run Bioscience visit: www.ruabio.com and access the full Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) here: www.shareoffer.co.nz/rua


What is an IPO and what does it mean to be listed on the NZX?

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the process for publicly listing a company on the stock exchange. New shares in the company are offered for investors to buy on the basis that the company shares will be able to be traded, in this case on the NZX. This means company shares are easier to buy and sell than when the company was held privately.

WIL shareholders eligible for the $5m Priority Offer as part of the $20m being raised as part of the IPO. Tairāwhiti residents also eligible for Priority Offer. Access the full Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) here: www.shareoffer.co.nz/rua


How many RUA shares will I get for my WIL shares?

Waiapu Investments shareholders will have their shares converted to Rua Bioscience shares at the IPO. Given the developments since WIL shareholders first purchased shares in 2018, the value of their shares has increased.

At IPO (22/10/20) WIL shares convert to RUA shares. 1 WIL share = 4.41 RUA shares (at $0.50/share) and WIL shareholders will be full RUA shareholders. For example: 1000 WIL shares = 4,410 RUA shares with a value of $2,205 at listing.


Will residents in Tairāwhiti get a special opportunity to invest again?

Rua Bioscience is offering Tairāwhiti residents the chance to invest through a Priority Offer. Access the full Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) here: www.shareoffer.co.nz/rua


What will be the minimum investment at IPO?

$100 (200 shares) is the minimum for WIL sharesholders to purchase as part of the Priority Offer. Access the full Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) here: www.shareoffer.co.nz/rua


How do WIL shareholders sell or transfer shares?

Before IPO WIL shareholders can contact Maudi Dewes (invest@hikurangi.enterprises or phone 021 255 8743) or Snowball Effect (www.snowballeffect.co.nz) to organise share transfers or sales. Post-IPO there will be different options for selling and buying Rua Bioscience shares.


When are we likely to receive dividends?

Rua Bioscience expects first revenue in 2021 but profits and dividends may be some years away.


Where do I find my shareholder certificate?

Contact Snowball Effect (www.snowballeffect.co.nz) to confirm your current  shareholdings in WIL. 


Is the company vision of two years ago still the vision now?

From co-founders Panapa Ehau and Manu Caddie:

“Essentially yes, we had to aim high to have any realistic chance of success. To realise our initial vision of employment opportunities at home on the Coast, we have to first make Rua a global business. We may not have realised that initially but this is the only way we achieve the goals we initially identified with our whanau in Ruatorea. In the short term we have needed to bring in external expertise to ensure success so that we are able to develop medium and longterm local capacity. Initially we have needed to bring in external expertise to ensure success so that we are able to develop longterm local capacity.

It’s fair to say that as a business, Rua has been on an incredibly steep learning curve – we had to move fast with what we had and what we knew at the time if we wanted to have a shot at becoming a sustainable business and that has certainly been the case to date.  

Rua Bioscience (formerly Hikurangi Cannabis Company) has been a sector leader since we began in 2017. We have had a key role in shaping the regulatory environment, to ensure the vision of what we talked about during our initial public presentations has the best chance of being achieved.  

We tried to make it clear at the time that there was not a lot of clarity and it was an extremely risky investment for anyone who wanted to put funds in – it was not even a legal industry then, so there was no certainty – up until December 2019, about what the rules for the sector would be.  Now there is more regulatory certainty, there is more clarity on potential markets and what is required to meet the security, staffing and product quality standards required by regulators in our priority markets.  

The reality is pharmaceuticals manufacturing is an extremely specialist activity and people need years of experience to be recognised by the authorities as competent to make medicines for sick people. Not everyone thinks these strict regulations are necessary but they are the rules for the sector we have focused on. We could try not working under pharmaceutical rules but we could not have a legal license, would have zero places to legally sell our products and little interest from other investors in supporting us to even get a first product out the door.  

We’ve chosen to work within this system to try to create opportunities for our whānau in Ruatorea and beyond. We totally support the need for whānau to actively participate in the development of regulations (or opposition to them) and have facilitated numerous opportunities for that to happen, by bringing the regulators to Ruatorea and by supporting whanau to attend regulatory forums around the motu.  

Cannabis was always just one cab on the rank for Hikurangi Group and we’re learning lots about how regulatory and business systems work. If Rua is successful this year it should provide significant capital back into Hikurangi Group, to fund some of the other priority projects we’re working on – like kānuka oil products, housing and business support.  

If we didn’t aim for exports, then we’d be unlikely to survive if we even had enough funds to get to the start line, in terms of meeting compliance costs. If we only did cultivation, then we’d be just another commodity producer racing to supply the cheapest product to the companies adding value in manufacturing, research and branding. We decided it was important to be across the value chain, as well as in breeding and cultivation.  

In time, the company will probably focus on one or more parts of the value chain but to start with, we need to be involved in each step so we can identify where the company should operate long-term and how we can ensure we give local growers the best chance of sustainable employment in the sector.  

Local employment was the original goal and is still a core goal and commitment of the company. We want to see a thriving company that provides well paid jobs to locals doing what they love, the approach taken by the business so far and increasingly by others, is basically the only way we can create that possibility. We have brought world-class talent into the business, provided opportunities for Ngāti Porou to work in a great company and have established opportunities for locals to up-skill and in time move into more specialist roles.

We also want to see Hikurangi Enterprises and Hikurangi Bioactives get some decent returns on our early investments to fund other initiatives they were set up to support, in turn creating more opportunities for our community.  

Our Board is an A-list of New Zealand business leaders with people who know how to create products customers want to buy, how to grow a business, how to ensure all compliance requirements are met, how to develop the highest ethical standards, a robust strategy and ability to achieve its financial and social goals. We are very pleased with calibre of directors and staff the company has attracted – we hope our earliest investors are also pleased with the progress and what has been achieved in a relatively short time.” 


  • How will the referendum outcome affect the business strategy of Rua Bioscience? 

The company has been focused solely on supplying pharmaceutical cannabis and has a solid business strategy based only on medicine manufacturing with no intention of participating in a recreational market if cannabis is legalised here. Rua shareholders have invested on this basis and the Board and management have confidence in the plan without relying on recreational cannabis.


  • Who do I contact for more information or to update my contact details?

Maudi Dewes is managing WIL shareholder enquiries – her email is: invest@hikurangi.enterprises or phone 021 255 8743.