In 2021, Rangitāne o Wairau embarked on a journey with whānau to review our Trust Deeds. After nearly two years, dozens of hui across the motu and some hearty discussions, we are now ready to come together once more and vote on the proposed revisions as part of our upcoming AGM.
What are the Deeds?
Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust (a charitable trust) and the Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust (our mandated Post-Settlement Governance Entity) are the legal entities which oversee the interests of Rangitāne o Wairau. Each of these entities is governed by a Trust Deed, which sets out how we work and how we govern our organisation.
Why did we review them?
Almost 10 years post-settlement, the time was right to review how we are working and to ensure we are working efficiently, complying with new legislation and, most importantly, working in the best interests of our whānau. It is common practice for governance entities to review the effectiveness of arrangements set out in their Trust Deeds and to recommend any alterations.
The review process
Hearing the views of our members was our favourite part of the process. We travelled across the motu twice over to meet with whānau kanohi ki te kanohi. There were also opportunities for whānau to tell us what they thought via an online survey, online hui, by email and we also enjoyed a fair few phone calls too.
Besides from the important engagement with our whānau, we also commissioned external legal advice in relation to the review, particularly in light of legislative changes (such as the new Trusts Act). The Trustees have considered the whānau engagement feedback, legal advice and their own views to form the basis for the changes.
What happens next?
Changes to the Trust Deeds are for Registered Members to decide – the Trustees cannot make amendments to the Deeds, without member approval.
To that end, we have prepared two revised Trust Deeds (for Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust and the Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust) reflecting the whakaaro that whānau provided (see the next page for more information on the specific changes), as well as the legal advice that we have received. The Trust now seeks to have the proposed amendments approved via a Special Resolution.
Providing there is support from Rangitāne o Wairau whānau, the proposed amendments to the Deeds will be implemented.
What you will be voting on?
The Trust is asking that members support and approve the Special Resolution, by voting in favour of the proposed changes. You can do this online as part of the 2023 Trustee election voting process or at the Annual General Meeting set down for Saturday, January 27, 2024.
The feedback we received from whānau demonstrated that for the most part, our Trust Deeds served us well – but like anything, there was room for improvement.
Based on that feedback, we have prepared revised Trust Deeds with the support of our legal advisors. The key changes are outlined below.
- Where possible, we have aligned numbering and formatting between the two Trust Deeds;
- Better alignment with the new Trusts Act (2019), particularly in relation to mandatory and default duties, and liability;
- Increased use of plain English and clear wording to ensure the intent of the Deeds is clear;
- Adoption of gender-neutral terminology;
- Making clear the option for the Trustees to elect either a single Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson or to utilise two Co-Chairpersons;
- Making clear the ability to delegate certain functions/roles to the Chief Executive/General Manager;
- Removing unnecessary references to the Māori Fisheries Act; and
- Other changes in alignment with the feedback received from whānau.
- INFORMATION: Voting Information Sheet
- PROPOSED DEED: Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust
- PROPOSED DEED: Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust
If you would like to receive tracked copies of the Trust Deeds, showing the specific changes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.