Ngāi Te Rangi restructure three iwi trusts under one framework

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Ngāi Te Rangi is restructuring its three trusts, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāi Te Rangi Settlement Trust and Ngā Potiki Trust, to sit under one framework which they say will be financially beneficial for everyone.

A year has passed since Ngāi Te Rangi signed their treaty settlement and received a $30 million cash fund. However, Ngāi Te Rangi Settlement Trust General Manager Maru Samuels says he has a plan to manage the iwi's money in a more profitable way.

“At the moment under the current scheme we have to run two separate election process each one cost's money, you’re talking about sending our postal votes envelopes, people to manage those processes.  So we can definitely save anywhere from $20,000-$25,000 a year,” says Mr Samuels.

Under the current structure the three trusts have their own board of trustees, all managing Ngāi Te Rangi post settlement assets. The newly proposed structure will keep all three trusts but will have only one board that governs the iwi's assets.

Mr Samuels says, “We spoke with our people, what's the best way to approach that. We can't change having three organisations, but we can change how those organisations work together.”

It will save the iwi $200,000 over 10 years just in election processes. Maru says it’s a plan which has had some scrutiny.

“There have been some questions around the change from the marae-based election process for the rūnanga, into what we call a hapū-community which is a combination of hapū and marae together,” says Mr Samuels.

Postal voting closes on September 26.  The new structure requires a minimum of 75% votes.