You are a trustee responsible for administering a block of Māori freehold land. But what happens if some of the trustees refuse to enter into a leasing arrangement?

In a recent case, the Māori Land Court held that normally documents which need to be registered under the Land Transfer Act must be executed by all of the trustees.

However, the Court chose to make an order granting the execution of the proposed arrangement as it had been approved by a majority of the trustees. The Court noted that the dissenting trustees were aware of the proposed arrangement and had been given the opportunity to respond to the plans.

The Court held that it is only necessary to gain the beneficiaries consent to a proposal in some circumstances, such as entering into a lease arrangement which lasts for over 52 years.

This case is interesting bearing in mind the proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Māori Land Act which are designed to enable easier utilisation of Māori Land.