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

Governance roles and structures

What is governance?

Governance is the strategy and plans that guide work on the whenua. There are different governance structures for whenua. Find out more.

Governance versus management

Governance is the high level stuff — the strategy and decisions about how to achieve owners' aspirations for the whenua. Management is the hands-on day-to-day stuff — the actions that come out of the strategy.

What is whenua management?

Governance mahi includes things like:

  • working with owners to understand aspirations and develop a vision for the whenua
  • developing a strategic plan
  • ensuring legal obligations are met
  • working with stakeholders and specialists to ensure goals are met
  • reporting and being held to account by owners.

Governance structures can be put in place for whenua to help with making decisions. There are different types of governance structures, such as whenua Māori trusts and incorporations. Trustees or committees of management are appointed to govern the whenua on behalf of the owners.

Why we need governance

Good governance gives security and structure to decision-making. It:

  • puts accountability and responsibility on governors to make robust decisions
  • defines a process for consultation with owners
  • makes it more likely that outcomes for the whenua will be achieved.

Achieving success through kaitiakitanga

Governance structures

There are formal and informal governance options for Māori land, including:

  • land trusts
  • Māori incorporations
  • reservations
  • informal structures.

Types of governance structures

What good governance looks like

For Māori land trusts and incorporations, good governance requires:

  • trustees or board members with a range of skills and knowledge
  • a clear vision and purpose
  • a strategy and culture that considers tikanga, kawa and values that take into account the aspirations of whānau, hapū and iwi
  • a clear action plan with defined roles and responsibilities
  • monitoring and change management plans to ensure ongoing improvements.

Meeting governance obligations

Governance best practice

What excellence looks like