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Mā te whenua e whanake ai te whānau
Rapua Tupu.nz
Reo: English | Māori
Reo: English | Māori

Ko te whakatū tarahati, mana whakahaere rānei

Ko te whiriwhiri i te hunga whakahaere

He mōhiotanga māu inā tautapa ai ko wai mā ngā kaitiaki mō te tarahati ahu whenua, mō tētahi mana whakahaere kē.

When you apply to set up a whenua Māori trust or incorporation, owners can nominate the people they think will make good trustees or committee of management members.

The Māori Land Court will make the final decision about who should be appointed. The judges will want to be satisfied that a nominee:

  • has the ability, experience and knowledge for the role 
  • is “broadly acceptable” to the landowners.

Information to help with recruiting directors or trustees

Who can be a trustee

Agreeing to be a trustee is a big decision. It can be a lot of work, but most trustees say it's worth it. They drive the mahi for whānau to achieve their aspirations and motivate the collective to thrive and grow.

Potential trustees can nominate themselves, or be nominated by whānau. They don't have to be owners of the trust's whenua, but they do have to consent to an appointment. There needs to be general agreement to their appointment from an owners' hui where a quorum was met.

Potential trustees must also:

  • agree in writing to being appointed
  • understand and agree with the trust order.

Who can't be a trustee

MLC generally won't appoint someone who is:

  • insolvent (a bankrupt or a director on a company that is subject to liquidation)
  • subject to a No Asset Procedure administration by the official assignee
  • convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or fraud
  • a minor
  • someone who has been removed from a trust or incorporation by the Māori Land Court or any other court for misconduct in the administration of a trust or incorporation
  • unable to manage your own affairs due to mental or physical disability or age.

Potential trustees need to provide a consent form that states that none of these situations apply to you.

Consent to be appointed as a trustee [PDF 93KB]

CV template for trustees [DOCX 46KB]

Steps to set up a Māori land trust

Things to consider

Ideally, particularly for ahu whenua or whenua tōpu trusts, you need trustees who will bring a range of views to the table.

This will result in more ideas, better debate and better outcomes for the trust. It will also ensure the diverse opinions of owners are represented.

You should also consider if the people you're considering as trustees:

  • know the land
  • know the people
  • have the time, energy and motivation to fully commit to trust mahi
  • have the skills and knowledge to help grow the trust
  • have the support of whānau and owners
  • have integrity.

And will they:

  • advance the vision and goals of the trust?
  • show the values and traditions of the land?
  • be able to work with people who have differing opinion?
  • be willing to be held accountable?

What trustees do

Being a trustee can be a big time commitment. You'll need to:

  • attend regular trustee meetings to discuss and debate plans for the trust
  • travel to the whenua regularly (if you live further away)
  • build relationships with other stakeholders like your lessee, accountant or management team
  • organise hui for owners or trustees
  • respond to owner enquiries
  • research options for the whenua on behalf of your owners.

There can also be legal consequences if you don't carry out your duties properly. As a trustee, you're held accountable for any bad decisions — for example, if the trust ends up in debt, as a trustee you might be ordered to pay back the debt personally.

Trustee roles and duties

Check how well your trust is doing