Native Affairs - Trusting The Trustee

By Heeni Brown

One of the most contentious issues for New Zealand land ownership. Since the first waka arrived from Polynesia to European colonisation through to modern day family trusts, people have fought over land.

Currently, of all the land in New Zealand, Māori collectively own just 5.5% of our land. Of that 5.5%, the Māori Trustee's office, Te Tumu Paeroa, manages 100,000 hectares of Māori land.

Te Tumu Paeroa has been publicly embroiled in a court battle with the Smith whānau in the remote Ruakituri Valley on the East Coast.

The Act governing Māori land and the office of Te Tumu Paeroa is being reformed.

Māori Trustee Jamie Tuuta spoke to our reporter Heeni Brown.

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