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This Directory of Official Information is not the current version. This is an archived version.

To view the current version please visit Directory of Official Information - December 2013.


Maori Trustee

“Māori Trustee” is the organisation established by the Māori Trustee Amendment Act 2009 on 1 July 2009.  It is a successor to the former Maori Trust Office which was previously part of Te Puni Kōkiri.

The role of the Māori Trustee is set out under Section 3 of the Maori Trustee Act 1953 (as amended by the  Māori Trustee Amendment Act 2009.  Under the Act, “The Māori Trustee” is a corporation sole with perpetual succession and a seal of office).


Māori Trustee does not have administrative responsibility for any Act of Parliament.

Māori Trustee’s statutory roles and responsibilities are set out in specific legislation such as the Māori Trustee Act 1953, Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993, the Māori Vested Lands Administration Act 1954, the Māori Reserved Land Act 1955 and the Trustees Act 1956.  In addition to specific legislation, Māori Trustee is also required to comply with various other general legislation related to its business.


Māori Trustee is an independent professional trustee organisation.

Its aim is to work in partnership with owners of Māori land to protect and build their assets for now and for future generations.

The Māori Trustee can be appointed to work on behalf of owners of assets in three ways: 

  • Responsible trustee: where the Māori Trustee has all the responsibility for making decisions and carrying out all the legal duties of a trustee.
  • Custodian trustee: where the responsible trustees (who may, for instance, be owners) make the decisions, but the Māori Trustee holds trust assets and carries out the legal duties on the direction of the responsible trustee(s).
  • Agent:  where the responsible trustees (or owners or the Māori Land Court) appoint the Māori Trustee to provide specific services for the trust such as negotiating a lease or managing meetings of owners.

The main services offered are:

  • Administration of trusts
  • Keeping a register of owners
  • Leasing land
  • Developing business ventures based on the land
  • Client fund management


Maori Trustee structure

The Māori Trustee is appointed by the Minister of Māori Affairs for a term not exceeding 5 years.  By legislation the Māori Trustee must act independently, free from any direction or instruction from the Crown.

An Advisory Board has been established by the Māori Trustee to provide strategic advice to the Māori Trustee.  Members of the Advisory Board have been appointed by Māori Trustee.

The Deputy Māori Trustee is an appointment under the Māori Trustee Act 1953 and will oversee and monitor Māori Trustee’s policy and investments responsibilities.

The Chief Operating Officer will oversee Māori Trustee’s core functions and services so that Māori Trustee operates in an effective and efficient manner carrying out its duties and responsibilities.


Māori Trustee holds or has access to the records previously administered by the Maori Trust Office as well as the new records created since Māori Trustee was established. 

Note that Māori Trustee is required to protect the privacy of clients at all times.


Māori Trustee has developed manuals, guidelines, policies and process documents for internal office use.


Annual Reports

Statement of Service Performance


Head Office

Māori Trustee

259 Wakefield Street

PO Box 5038


Phone:  (04) 803 2800

Fax:  (04) 803 2895

Regional Offices

Aotea and Te Waipounamu

Te Taurawhiri Building
357 Victoria Avenue
P O Box 523
Whanganui Mail Centre
Tel: 06 348 0099
Fax: 06 348 0070


Nga Wai E Rua Building
Cnr Lowe Street & Reads Quay
P O Box 1260
Tel: 06 868 9035
Fax: 06 868 0207


Māori Trustee
Level 2, 3-5 Hunt Street
Private Bag 9004
Phone:  (09) 430 3161
Fax:  (04) 430 3465


Ground Floor
Te Puni Kokiri House
1218-1224 Haupapa Street
Private Bag 3005
Tel: 07 349 0350
Fax: 07 348 5019


Level 1
410 Victoria Street
PO Box 9398
Hamilton Mail Centre
Tel: 07 834 7110
Fax: 07 834 0174