Setting up a trust or governance structure
Establishing the trust's culture
The trust's culture is essentially the guidelines for how everyone – trustees and owners alike – will behave and treat each other.
He waka eke noa
A canoe which we are all in with no exception
Why it's important to establish a culture for the trust
A strong, healthy trust relies on having an agreed and positive culture within the ownership and trustees; this includes all parties involved with the trust. The culture could be described as a code of conduct or terms of engagement. It's a framework to enable healthy, robust discussions and decision making as owners and trustees.
Trusts that are successful generally have cultures that focus on things like:
- respect and trust
- positive, open communication
- māoritanga and your tikanga
- strong relationships.
Knowing the expectations around how everyone should work together will help things run smoothly, and give you a way to deal with things if they don't.
What to consider
Your culture is about what your priorities are, and the way that you'll do things. For example:
How will we make decisions?
- Will there be a fixed chain of command or a democratic process?
- How will we incorporate this in our trust order?
- Will we include owners or the wider community in decision making?
How will we communicate and engage with our people, and vice versa?
- Will there be a fixed process for speaking during hui – for example, only one person speaking at a time – or something looser?
- How transparent will the trust be with information, and how can whānau request information from us?
- How regularly will the trust engage and communicate with owners?
- How accessible will our core trust documents be?
How will we interact with our stakeholders?
- Do we want to work collaboratively with suppliers or just tell them what we want?
- Will we partner with others, and if so, how will we choose our partners?
- How will we ensure these partners meet our requirements?
How will we build and strengthen relationships?
- What are our external relationships?
- Who will manage our external relationships, and how will they represent the trust while doing so?