Dr Charlotte Severne has been announced as the next Māori Trustee.

Dr Charlotte Severne

Te Tumu Paeroa welcomes today's announcement of the appointment of the next Māori Trustee, Dr Charlotte Severne (Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāi Tūhoe), and looks forward to continuing its work to protect and enhance Māori land.

Te Tumu Paeroa is an independent organisation led by the Māori Trustee. We manage over 90,000 hectares of Māori land on behalf of nearly 100,000 owners by providing professional trustee, property management, and land development services to over 1,800 Māori land trusts.

Our vision is to support land owners to use their land to its fullest potential – creating a legacy for this generation, and the generations that follow.

Jamie Tuuta, CEO of Te Tumu Paeroa, says, “Dr Severne will bring relevant experience, skills and knowledge to build on the strong foundations Te Tumu Paeroa has already set in protecting and growing Māori land and assets.

“This is a great opportunity to continue our programme of increasing the use of science and technology in supporting land owners in decision-making, growing the investment in development of Māori land, and connecting owners with their whenua.” 

Dr Severne holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Auckland. In 2016, she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, recognising her role as a strong advocate and mentor for Māori students in science, and as a trail blazer in assisting Māori asset-owning entities to understand and better utilise science and research to sustainably manage and develop their taonga tuku iho.

Dr Severne also has a wealth of experience in working with Māori business as a science advisor and in governance roles in energy, fisheries and farming entities, including as chair of the Lake Rotoaira Trusts (Forest and Lake) and deputy chair of Opepe Farm Trust.


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For more information please contact Sara Passmore, Marketing and Communications Manager, by email at sara.passmore@tetumupaeroa.co.nz or by phone on 022 4356 117.

About Te Tumu Paeroa

Everything we do at Te Tumu Paeroa is focused on protecting and enhancing Māori land. Our vision is to support land owners to use their land to its fullest potential – creating a legacy for this generation, and the generations that follow.

Te Tumu Paeroa is an independent organisation led by the Māori Trustee. We manage over 90,000 hectares of Māori land on behalf of nearly 100,000 owners.

About Māori land

  • Māori land is taonga tuku iho, a treasure to be handed down.
  • The rules for ownership of Māori land are laid out in Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993
  • The Māori Land Court manages the process of passing shares in Māori land from one generation to the next. This process is called succession.
  • Māori land is usually communally owned, based on traditional Māori custom.

About how Māori land is managed

  • Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 provides for the creation of trusts to administer Māori land and general land owned by Māori.
  • Ahu Whenua trusts are the most common form of Māori Land trust.
  • A majority of the trusts that Te Tumu Paeroa administers are Ahu Whenua trusts.
  • Trustees have a number of duties. These duties include: 
    • Paying the right people  - keeping contact and ownership records up-to -date and accurate
    • Following the Trust Order - A trust order is a legal document that outlines specific guidelines for how a trust is run. It includes the trusts' name and purpose. It says who should manage the trust and how they should manage it. It also includes who should benefit from the trust; and
    • Being impartial and acting with the same care, diligence, prudence and good judgement expected of business people managing the affairs of others.

About how people can connect to their whenua

  • Māori Land Online is a searchable database of people who have an interest in Māori land. Anyone can search this database to find out who are the legal owners of blocks of whenua.
  • Estimates suggest that between 400,000 to 1.5 million ownership interests in Māori Land are held by people who are deceased.
  • Anyone who wants to succeed to interests in Māori land must apply to the Court.
  • Te Tumu Paeroa currently holds over $24 million in unclaimed money. This is money that we're unable to pay out to the owners. This could be because we're waiting for succession to take place, or we've been unable to locate the owner, confirm their ID, or we don't have up-to-date bank details.
  • Check on our website to see if we're holding unclaimed money for you or your whānau.

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