Te Tumu Paeroa & the Māori Trustee

The Māori Trustee leads Te Tumu Paeroa. We work as one to manage over 100,000 hectares of Māori land, much of it in remote parts of New Zealand. Our role is to support land owners in protecting and enhancing their land.

The Māori Trustee is a role established by law

The role of Māori Trustee was originally created to support Māori land owners in managing their land. The Māori Trustee helped with land concerns such as governance, coordinating a large number of owners, productivity and expenses.

The position was established in 1920 as the Native Trustee, and then changed to the Māori Trustee in 1947. The focus of the new 1947 legislation shifted to protecting Māori land.

Charlotte Severne is the current Māori Trustee and leader of Te Tumu Paeroa. She was appointed in 2018 by the Minister for Māori Development.

The Māori Land Court makes decisions about Māori land

People often confuse the role of Te Tumu Paeroa and the Māori Land Court – these are two completely separate organisations. The Māori Land Court makes legal decisions on the ownership of Māori land. Te Tumu Paeroa supports owners of Māori land, but we don't cover all Māori land – at the moment we manage around 7%.

The Māori Land Court are your first point of contact if you succeed to Māori land (if shares in land are passed to you when a whānau member dies). They can also:

  • decide who’s a land owner
  • resolve disputes
  • instruct Te Tumu Paeroa to step in and be responsible for land when owners can't agree.

Learn more about the services we provide Māori land owners.