TO CLAIMANTS, RANGITIKEI TO RANGIPO INQUIRY
Report from New Zealand Māori Council
The New Zealand Māori Council is the body which took the High Court proceedings in 1989 resulting in the establishment of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. In settling the litigation, the Council agreed to a Trust to fund you to take your claims in your own way to the Tribunal and the Government. It was a very simple trust to receive and decide upon your applications for funding with power to outsource financial and other operations.
The Council has read the several reports from the Trust Chair for herself and some Trustees but as the body responsible for the Trust’s formation, the Council now wishes to explain why it is taking proceedings against the Trust’s operations. The position is simply that in the Council’s considered view, the Trust is not now operating as it was meant to in terms of the Trust Deed, and that it is acting unfairly towards Māori in many ways.
In your case however, the Council is at a loss to understand why you have been affected by our proceedings at all. The High Court has made a temporary order that applications may not be heard in any district where Māori Trustees are conflicted. The Trust chair appears to have decided that therefore no funding applications should be considered for your district, but no reasonable explanation has been given as to why it is considered that there is such a conflict in this instance. We can find no other reason for excluding you except the possibility of embarrassing the Council for bringing its proceedings.
Accordingly we are inviting the Trustees concerned to consider that there is in fact no sustainable basis for determining that a trustee is conflicted in this district and that funding for this district should continue immediately. If there is in fact a doubt then we will ask the Trustees concerned to join with us in an application to the Court to vary the Court Order to ensure that funding may proceed.
We regret that the Trust has inconvenienced you in this way.