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How we support you

Where the Māori Trustee has been appointed responsible trustee, Te Tumu Paeroa supports her to carry out her duties and other legal responsibilities for the trust.

Each Māori Land Trust that is established has objects (or purposes) that are set out in the trust order. The trust order also sets out the powers of the trustee and often sets out special requirements, such as the frequency for meetings of owners.

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 provides four principal responsibilities of a responsible trustee.

  • Carrying out the terms of the trust in the trust order
  • The proper administration and management of the business of the trust
  • The preservation of the assets of the trust
  • The collection and distribution of the income of the trust

Where the Māori Trustee has been appointed responsible trustee, Te Tumu Paeroa supports the Māori Trustee to carry out these and other legal responsibilities for the trust.

Advisory trustees of the trust provide advice to the responsible trustee on matters relating to the administration of the trust. Owners of the whenua meet to discuss matters relating to the whenua at the frequency set out in the trust order or more often if there is a desire or need.

In order to meet the terms of the trusteeship on which we are appointed responsible trustee, we carry out a number of core services.

Some of our services include: 

Holding owner hui

This is an opportunity for you to hear about what is happening on the whenua and get an update on the governance and administration activities for your trust. 

Enquiries and additional reporting

On occasions, we send owners and/or advisory trustees additional reports or information outside of an owner hui. We also have a client services team dedicated to responding to your enquiries regarding your owner account with us and the trust.

Trust reviews

Our administration of a trust is generally required to be reviewed periodically by the Māori Land Court.

We meet or report to owners prior to this and prepare a separate report for the Court on the administration of the trust.

We also attend a Court hearing to answer any questions the Court may have regarding our report or other matters relating to the trust or the whenua. As an owner you will be notified of the date of the Court hearing so that you can attend this trust review.

Maintaining owner records

Keeping your information up to date helps ensure you're kept informed about your trust and the whenua we administer on your behalf.

Managing property leases

If your whenua is being leased, we will manage the lease for the trust. Find out more about leasing property

Providing financial services

As responsible trustee we have an obligation to look after the business of the trust including the financial side. This includes paying tax, issuing and paying invoices, financial reporting and preparation of an annual statement of accounts.

Providing a secure online service - My Whenua

As an owner or trustee of whenua we administer as responsible trustee, you have full access to information we hold on My Whenua. Whānau members can also get access to some of this information by signing up to My Whenua.

Managing client funds

The Māori Trustee Act 1993 states that any money received by the Māori Trustee in a fiduciary capacity (such as trustee or agent) must be credited to the Māori Trustee’s Common Fund.

Your trust’s money, together with all other money we hold in trust, is pooled for investment in the Common Fund. This investment is overseen by our specialist investment team.

Your trust together with all other account holders share in any investment income earned from an investment and this share (called distributable income) is calculated in accordance with the Māori Trustee Act 1953 and Māori Trustee Regulations 2009.

If you have received a distribution payment from a trust you have shares in, that money will also receive distributable income pending being paid out to you. Find out more about income from your whenua.

Identifying capital works and opportunities to develop your whenua

Te Tumu Paeroa develops and maintains an Asset Management Plan (AMP) for each trust the Māori Trustee administers as responsible trustee. The AMP is presented and discussed with owners and advisory trustees and refined and updated where appropriate.

Producing Farm Environment Plans

A Farm Environment Plan (FEP) is a tool that can help recognise on-farm environmental risks and set out a programme to manage those risks. FEPs are produced for all whenua we administer as responsible trustee.

FEPs are unique to a property and reflect the local climate and soils, the type of farming operation, and the goals and aspirations of the land user. The level of complexity of a FEP will largely depend on how much farm system change is underway or being considered.

Increasing governance capability for your trust

No two situations are the same in the self-governance journey of owners of a trust.

A number of groups of advisory trustees and owners are in the process of working with us to develop their capability to take over the responsible trustee role from the Māori Trustee for their trust.

Building Māori governance capability - Tū Tiaki

Te Tumu Paeroa is committed to growing the governance capability of Māori landowners so that they can increase their involvement in the administration of whenua Māori.

Tū Tiaki is a free, online multimedia learning module available to whenua Māori owners and trustees who want the tools to protect and enhance the land in their care.

To find out more, including how to register for it, please click here


What does it cost for these services?

Fees and commissions are payable for our services as responsible trustee and other roles we may have. Find out more about our fees and commissions.

What you can expect from us?

As responsible trustee you can expect us to follow the terms of the trust and other legal responsibilities in the administration of the trust and exercise the care and skill, special knowledge and experience that it is reasonable to expect of a professional trustee.

We are always looking to improve the services and welcome suggestions as to how we can do so.

What if the Māori Trustee is a Custodian Trustee or acting as Agent?

Custodian Trustee

Normally responsible trustees hold trust property in their name. However, where a custodian trustee has been appointed for a trust the trust property is held in the name of the custodian trustee.

Te Ture Whenua Māori Trustee Act 1993 sets out a very limited role for a custodian trustee. Importantly, the custodian trustee has no governance role or responsibilities for the trust.

Find out more about the role of a custodian trustee.


The responsible trustees of a trust and the Māori Trustee can agree for the Māori Trustee to provide agency services to support the administration of the trust. These services are agreed and set out in an agency services agreement which is commonly referred to as a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Where the Māori Trustee is acting as agent, she has no governance role or responsibilities for the trust. 

Some services we provide when the Māori Trustee is responsible trustee are available as agency services. If you are interested in learning more about agency services we provide for Māori Land Trusts, please contact us