Trust Deed Review2022-09-29T14:36:12+13:00


The Rangitāne o Wairau Trustees have agreed to conduct a review of our Trust Deeds (for Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust and the Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust).


The Trust has approved a review of the Trust Deeds because it is a good thing to review how we are working and to ensure we’re 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 provides the opportunity for changes and improvements to the Deed to be considered. Providing there is strong support from Rangitāne o Wairau, amendments to the Deed will be implemented.

Our Organisations

Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust was established in 2006, pursuant to the Māori Fisheries Act (2004), as a Mandated Iwi Organisation, and Iwi Aquaculture Organisation. The Trust has charitable status and is responsible for establishing cultural and social benefits for iwi members. The Trust Deed has a provision for up to seven Trustees, who are elected in accordance with the Deed.

Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust was established in 2010 for the purpose of receiving the proceeds of the Rangitāne o Wairau settlement from the Crown. The Settlement Trust is the Rangitāne o Wairau PSGE (post settlement governance entity). The Trust Deed states that the Trustees of the Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust shall be the Trustees of the Settlement Trust.

Review Objectives

As part of the review process, we want to achieve the following objectives:

  • Ensure that the governance arrangements for the Trust are effective and meet the expectations of members and stakeholders;
  • Ensure that the governance arrangements for the Trust are efficient, including that there are clear responsibilities, roles and accountabilities;
  • Include best practice, good governance principles and practices; and
  • Ensure compliance with any requirements of government, other regulatory bodies and applicable laws.


The Trust has approved the following indicative timetable for the review:

November 2021 – February 2022:

  • Member Consultation and Feedback

March 2022 – May 2022:

  • Report to Trust for consideration

June 2022:

  • Consider and confirm next steps for the Trust Deed Review Project

September 2022:

  • Announce next steps

September 2022 – December 2022:

  • Prepare updated drafts of the Trust Deeds, to share with whānau

Early 2023:

  • Carry out further consultation and engagement with whānau on the proposed Trust Deed amendments

Prior to AGM:

  • Prepare draft resolutions and final drafts of the Trust Deeds for voting

This timetable is indicative and subject to change. It is important to emphasise that any changes to our Trust Deeds will be subject to the provisions of the respective Deeds, and will be voted on at a General Meeting.

Tukua mai ō whakaaro – have your say

Whānau Engagement Process

Throughout the first half of 2022, we have undertaken extensive engagement and consultation with our whānau.  The Trust recognises that hearing from our whānau is critical to ensuring that the review meets its objectives.

We provided a number of opportunities for whānau to engage.  These opportunities included:

  • Kanohi ki te kanohi: we held hui across the motu, for whānau to provide feedback on the Trust Deed Review, including in the following locations: 
    • Wairau (two hui)
    • Whakatū
    • Ōtautahi
    • Horowhenua
    • Te Whanganui-a-Tara
    • Heretaunga
  • Zui: we held two Zoom hui, to enable whānau to input on the Trust Deed Review process, from wherever they reside.
  • Survey Monkey: we circulated a Survey Monkey to encourage whānau to provide views on different aspects of the Trust Deed Review.
  • Events: we provided opportunities at a range of events and programmes to enable whānau to share their whakaaro about the Trust Deed Review.
  • Phone: we provided whānau with the opportunity to call our office at anytime, to provide their whakaaro on the Trust Deed Review.

There was no right or wrong way to express your whakaaro. The views and perspectives of all whānau are valid and valued. Whānau don’t have to be registered to have a say, however, in order to receive regular email updates or to participate in voting for or against any proposed amendments to the Deed, whānau must be registered.

We prompted whānau to consider providing whakaaro about the legal/technical matters within the Trust Deed, the way the Trust Deed is used, or big picture issues. For example:

  • Representation model, including the number of Trustees and how they are chosen
  • provisions relating to members living outside of the rohe
  • election procedures and policies
  • membership criteria and procedures
  • running of general meetings
  • provisions and policies in place to manage the interests and conduct of Trustees
  • alterations to the Trust Deed
  • accountability and transparency
  • communication and engagement with Rangitāne members

Summary of Feedback

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.

Now what?

As a result of the above feedback, the Trustees will now engage with our legal advisors to prepare two revised Trust Deeds (for Te Rūnanga a Rangitāne o Wairau Trust and the Rangitāne o Wairau Settlement Trust) reflecting the proposed changes and feedback that whānau have provided as part of the engagement processes date. We expect that this process will be undertaken before the end of 2022.

Once these revised Trust Deeds have been prepared, we will carry out a second round of whānau engagement, to discuss the proposed changes. We expect that this engagement would take place in early 2023. This will provide you with an opportunity to provide additional information or feedback, in relation to any particular changes proposed, or any other points that you think need to be included in the Trust Deed Review process.

Following that engagement process, we will look to finalise those proposed changes and prepare resolutions that Registered Members will vote on, to either approve or reject the proposed changes. Any changes to the Trust Deeds will be for Registered Members to decide – the Trustees cannot make amendments to the Trust Deed, without member approval. We expect that any vote on changes to the Trust Deeds would be held concurrent to an AGM.


If you have any pātai about any aspect of the Trust Deeds Review, or wish to give feedback, please email