“It’s important to stay connected with the land. This I think more so for my son. Even though he doesn’t remember his dad, as he was too young, he has that connection with his dad and his land”.
In 1973 Carol Rolleston’s husband passed away. Her husband was an owner of Māori land in the Waikato-Maniapoto area. So his shares were put into a whānau trust, which Carol is now the responsible trustee for.
One of the blocks the whānau trust has shares in is administered by Te Tumu Paeroa. Carol’s been able to access information about this block, from her home in Italy, through My Whenua – the online site that gives information about Māori land specific to the whenua.
“I’m from Wellington. I lived their up until I moved to Italy in 2009. I only have one son and he was only 2 years old when my husband died. Because there are only the two of us, we’re very close” says Carol.
“Around 20 years ago my son moved to Italy to play rugby. He loved Italy and 10 years ago he married a lovely Italian girl”.
The decision to move to Italy came from a desire to be close to whānau.
“Now they have two boys, 4 and 9 months. [My son] suggested I come and live there because with only seeing each other every 2 years, it was really hard. And now having 2 moko, if I wanted to be part of thier lives I needed to be in Italy!” says Carol.
For the whānau
“I’m finding My Whenua really great! Up until now I never knew what was happening”.
In a recent trip to New Zealand, Carol paid a visit to a Te Tumu Paeroa office. The driving force continues to be to make sure her son and mokopuna maintain their connection to their whenua.
“I wanted to make sure that if anything happens to me, everything will pass on easily to my son”.
“It’s important to stay connected with the land. This I think more so for my son. Even though he doesn’t remember his dad, as he was too young, he has that connection with his dad and his land.”Carol Rolleston - Responsible Trustee for her Whānau Trust