Trust Deed Review Update – Mahuru (September) 2022

He uri nō te tini whetū ki te rangi, ko Rangitāne ki te whenua! Kei puta Te Wairau!

Update on Trust Deed Review Project

As we have previously advised, the Trustees have agreed to conduct a review of our Trust Deeds.  The Trust engaged extensively with whānau and key stakeholders during 2022, to ensure that it understands what works well and where whānau felt our Trust Deeds could be amended to further strengthen our governance settings.

The Trustees have now considered that feedback (a summary of which is available on the Trust Deed Review page on our website here, and also below), and have agreed to progress with drafting two updated Trust Deeds.  Once drafted, the proposed Trust Deeds will be available for consultation and engagement with our whānau.  We expect that we will be in a position to undertake that consultation and engagement early next year.

Following that engagement, and once the feedback from that process has been taken into account, Registered Members will have the opportunity to vote, either in support or against, any proposed changes through our usual voting process.

For now, this update is purely for information.  We will continue to provide further updates and information as this important project progresses.

If you have any patai, we encourage you to email

Feedback Summary

No. Feedback
1 The Trust Deeds should be aligned, so that the terminology used in both is consistent, both from a numbering and a substantive perspective.  This will avoid confusion and provide consistency for those who interact with and use the Trust Deeds.
2 The Trust Deeds should align with legislation change.  For example, the new Trusts Act has come into effect, and changes need to be made to reflect this, particularly in relation to mandatory and default duties and default duties and liability.
3 The Trust Deeds should use “plain English”, rather than overly complex legal terminology.  Whānau also suggested we may wish to consider the use of Reo Māori in our Trust Deeds, at some point in the future.
4 The Trust Deeds should refer to the Whakapapa Komiti, rather than the Membership Committee, because we do not use Membership Committee in our terminology.
5 The Trust Deeds should include a provision for an automatic/scheduled review process, as currently it is dependent on the Trustees deciding to carry out a review.
6 The Trust Deeds do not have the same definition around membership criteria, and primary ancestors.  This should be clarified and updated.
7 The Trust Deeds are not clear in relation to whāngai.  This is an important kaupapa that needs to be worked through with whānau.
8 The Trust Deeds regularly use the word “shall” and whānau felt that this type of wording should be avoided, and instead be replaced with, for example, either “must” or “may” (depending on the nature of the clause).
9 The Trust Deeds need to be as objective as possible, rather than subjective.
10 The Trust Deeds should reference our values.
11 The Tupuna Lists do not align, and there is an inconsistency with what is published on the website.  This needs to be corrected for clarity and to avoid any ambiguity.
12 One of the Trust Deeds has a “Table of Contents” and the other does not.  For ease of reading and for consistency, both Trust Deeds should have a “Table of Contents”.
13 The Trust Deeds often make reference to “he/she”.  Instead, the terms should not be gender-specific.
14 The Trust Deeds should allow members to have access to the Register of Interests, either on request or by default publication of the Register.
15 Generally, members didn’t believe that we needed to make provision for representation on a “location” basis, nor did they feel we needed term limits or include mechanisms for removal of Trustees.  The message that came through was that “the people should decide” through the election processes, but concern arose around enabling a voice for those outside the rohe.
16 Whilst some whānau felt that attendance at hui should be in person (for both Trustees and for General Meetings), there was broad consensus that accessibility was important, such as through the use of technology to attend and participate in meetings and for voting purposes.
17 The Trust Deeds should enable and support succession planning mechanisms, such as via a “Future Trustee” or “Cadetship” type role.
18 The Trust Deeds should delegate certain functions/roles to the Chief Executive/General Manager, such as arrangements around staffing.
19 The Trust Deeds should clarify the option for the Trustees to elect either a single Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, or to utilise two Co-Chairpersons.
20 There was mixed feedback on the branding of the organisation.  For example:

Do we still need to include reference to “Rūnanga”?

Does the name Rangitane o Wairau reflect our Te Tauihu and Te Waipounamu presence?

Does the kōtuku still have relevance in terms of our logo?

21 Some whānau felt that the Trustee Code of Conduct (or its contents) should be either referenced or incorporated within the Trust Deeds.  Some whānau suggested MoJ and Police checks on Trustees, as part of the election process.
22 Some whānau recommended that a mechanism for more frequent engagement with Trustees be included.  For example, an opportunity to engage mid-year, otherwise, the AGM is the only place where our people might feel like they get to have a say.
23 Some whānau asked whether we needed to continue to have the “public notice” and “private notice” options in relation to voting, and suggested simplifying these clauses.
24 The Trust Deeds should make minimal reference to the Fisheries Act, and only include such references so far as is legally required.  Instead, it should focus on the kaupapa of the Trust.,
25 The Trust Deeds need to be reflective of the need and practice of our tikanga being pragmatic and evolving.


Trust Deed Review Webpage

For more information on the Trust Deed Review, please click here

By |2022-09-29T14:56:29+13:00September 29th, 2022|Categories: Iwi, Pānui|0 Comments