To become an owner in most Māori land, succession through the Māori Land Court is required. But Pūkahakaha East 5B have a slightly different ownership structure written into their trust order.

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“The beneficiaries of Pūkahakaha are the descendents of two unions. That’s our tupuna kuia Te Kahuwhero and her husband Te Uhi, and her younger sister Te Huaki and her husband Tukaiteuru” explains Advisory Trustee Taipari Munro.

But this left some unanswered questions for owners around whānagai children and how they might fit into the picture. It was the focus of conversation at a recent wānanga involving the Advisory Trustees and owners of Pūkahakaha East 5B.

Over the past five years, the trustees have been hard at work developing the Trust. Each year they’ve held wānanga with the beneficial owners of the land, hoping to build the Trust into a thriving business.

Building the whakapapa

Early on in this development process, owners were invited to Paratene Marae in Ngunguru to help put a whakapapa together.

“We covered the wall with streams of paper and whakapapa that we knew” says Advisory Trustee Joeann Walters.

 “Then we invited all the families through and they put up their whakapapa to join with the rest on the wall”.

Whāngai and bloodlines

Paratene maraeThis topic of discussion inevitably lead to the most recent wānanga held in November. Owners and trustees again returned to Paratene Marae to discuss whāngai, and how children from outside the bloodlines listed in the trust order would fit in.

“What we were wanting this weekend was for people to come together and wānanga on some of the things we need to talk about. In this case the wānanga kaupapa has been tamariki whāngai, the adopted child, blended families and step children. The question is, how do you deal with those children in those categories who don’t fit into the bloodlines” says Taipari.

“Some of the feedback that came from the people [was that] they didn’t want those children to be left out. Others were saying the bloodlines are important and decision making should be made by those who descended from those bloodlines”.

The Advisory Trustees plan to take on board the varied feedback from owners and bring a recommendation to them at a future hui.

“[The Advisory Trustees] will form the recommendations from the korero that was collected and get the people to look at it again and decide whether that’s how they want to go or not. But what we’re clear on is that even though there are people who aren’t within the bloodlines, we want them to be able to have some benefit.”