An important aspect of settling your claimant group’s historical Treaty of Waitangi grievances is considering what form of PSGE best suits your needs.

Here are 5 things you need to know about setting up a PSGE.

1.    What is a PSGE?

A PSGE is the body that receives and looks after settlement redress received from the Crown as part of the claimant groups historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

2.    What does a PSGE do?

A PSGE decides how the settlement redress is managed and how any benefits from it can be used for the benefit of the members of the claimant group.

Redress can include cash, land, statutory acknowledgements, rights of first refusal, deeds of recognition and protocols with government departments and other agencies.

3.    Are all types of entities acceptable to the Crown as a PSGE?

No.  Certain governance models are not acceptable to the Crown on the basis that they do not satisfy one or more of the Crown’s governance principles.

In particular, the Crown will not accept the following as PSGE governance models:

  • charitable trusts
  • companies set up under the Companies Act 1993
  • incorporated societies set up under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908
  • Māori Trust Boards established under the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955.

4.    Will the Crown accept a private trust governance model?

Yes. A private trust model with subsidiary trusts or companies to manage the settlement are an acceptable form of governance model to the Crown provided certain criteria are meet.

5.    What criteria does the Crown require for a PSGE?

The Crown has certain criteria that all PSGE’s need to meet to be approved to receive settlement redress. 

The Crown criteria includes a requirement that the proposed constitution or rules of the PSGE:

  • adequately represents all members of the claimant group;
  • has transparent decision-making and dispute resolution procedures;
  • is fully accountable to the whole claimant group; and
  • provides that the beneficiaries of the settlement and the beneficiaries of the governance entity are identical when the settlement assets are transferred from the Crown to the claimant group.

The sooner your claimant group starts work on setting up a PSGE the better. This is not only because the Crown will not complete settlement until a PSGE has been established, but also because early planning and communication with your claimant community as to the options being considered will mean that members are more likely to understand and accept your proposals.

Peter Johnston
Māori Issues Lawyer