The New Zealand Mission Trust Board (Otamataha) Empowering Bill has completed its passage through Parliament.
The bill’s sponsor Te Ururoa Flavell said it righted a wrong done with land confiscated from Maori and given to others such as the Mission Trust Board, but now the Board was allowing justice to be served.
The New Zealand Mission Trust Board (Otamataha) Empowering Bill transfers land in the Tauranga area from the New Zealand Mission Trust to the newly created Otamataha Trust. The property has been held by the Trust Board as a charitable trust since 1896, for the purpose of “spiritually benefiting and instructing local Māori”.
The board was originally composed of Anglican Church appointees, but since 1998 the trustees have been appointed by the hapū of Ngāti Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho. The trustees believe the 1896 trust and its deed are no longer appropriate, and have created the new Otamataha Trust, the beneficiaries of which are the hapū of Ngāti Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho.
The bill seeks to vest the trust property in the new trust in line with the Otamataha Trust Deed. The bill would also extinguish the New Zealand Mission Trust Board and discharge its trustees. The new trust, unlike its predecessor, is not a charitable trust
The bill completed its third reading on a voice vote and MPs then began the first reading of the Christchurch City Council (Rates Validation) Bill.
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