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Mā te whenua e whanake ai te whānau
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Language: English | Māori
Language: English | Māori

Trustee roles and duties

Custodian trustees

There are 3 different types of trustees – responsible trustees, custodian trustees, and advisory trustees. Each have their own responsibilities and duties within the trust.

Not all trusts have a custodian trustee. They can be appointed through the Māori Land Court to support the responsible trustees and to provide extra security for the trust's assets.

Custodian trustees are there to help look after the trust's assets — the whenua, any cash or investments, or other property the trust might own.

They generally act to support the responsible trustees by doing things they're asked to do like:

  • investing funds
  • disposing of assets (for example, selling shares or property)
  • signing documents.

However, if custodian trustees believe responsible trustees are putting the trust's assets at risk, they can put a stop to it. If responsible trustees and custodian trustees can't agree on something, they can apply to the Māori Land Court to make a decision.