A whānau trust is a legal entity that is commonly used by whānau to bring Māori land interests together to be held and managed for the benefit of the whānau and future generations. This trust needs to be formed by the Māori Land Court and is held by the trustees for the purposes set out under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.  The purposes include promoting the health, social, cultural and economic welfare, education and vocational training, and general advancement of the beneficiaries.

A key benefit of forming a whānau trust is that the trust is able to hold interests together and avoid fragmentation of land shares.

Peter Johnston
Māori Issues Lawyer