The Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust (TST) is charged with establishing Forest Hapu Cluster (FHC) Trusts for each of the following forest areas:
At the end of 2011, TST consulted with hapu about amending the FHC Establishment Process to make it more hapu driven. TST Iwi members agreed to these changes allowing TST to begin establishing the FHC Trusts.
The following key principles guide the FHC Establishment Process:
The Hapū Allocation Process is defined as “a process that uses the same approach as that set out in Schedule 2 of the Act”, meaning the CNI Forests Settlement Legislation. This process includes three stages by which those parties who have interests in the relevant forests are determined based on tikanga mana whenua.
In the case of the FHCs, the Hapū Allocation Process will be used to determine which hapū have mana whenua interests in relevant forests. It is anticipated that the Hapū Allocation Process will be completed by mid-2012.
TST will run the Hapū Allocation Process in the following stages:
Using the CNI Mana Whenua Process as a guide, TST has developed a process by which it can clearly identify the hapū who have mana whenua interests in the Tūwharetoa Forests.
Once agreement has been reached on the hapū to be included in the FHC, TST will:
Any disputes regarding mana whenua will be referred to an adjudication process known as Stage 3. TST will provide written notice to all relevant hapū which will outline the following:
Adjudicators will consider evidence relating to the mana whenua of the relevant hapū. The Adjudicators will be provided with copies of the mana whenua report prepared by TST. They will also meet with all relevant hapū to consider the matter.
The Adjudicators will consider the dispute and provide a written report on its findings to TST. The report will clearly state:
TST will circulate the adjudication findings report to the relevant hapū with notification of the final hapū to be included in the FHC. The adjudicators’ findings will be binding on all parties.
Once the Hapū Allocation Process has been completed and all FHC hapū have been confirmed, TST alongside FHC hapū will be ready to start establishing FHC Trusts. TST is required by its own Trust Deed to establish these FHC Trusts to “receive, hold and manage relevant benefits associated with the Tūwharetoa Forests”. As part of this process, TST is required to complete the following:
TST is committed to engaging with FHC hapū in order to establish FHC Trust Deeds. Accordingly, a series of hui will be held to engage hapū and ensure that hapū views are captured.
In consulting with FHC hapū, TST will:
In establishing the FHC Trusts there will be elements of the Trust where options exist, and others which will be mandatory requirements. TST will identify mandatory requirements and potential options for the FHC Trusts.
Where options exist, FHC hapū will decide which options best suit their needs, TST will play an advisory role only. TST will analyse identified options in order to ensure that their parameters and implications are clearly understood by FHC hapū. Hapū feedback on their preferences will be determined through hapū consultation hui and questionnaires.
Upon completion of the hapū consultation hui TST will work with the legal advisor to prepare the FHC Trust Deeds.
As part of the FHC Trust establishment process, FHCs will need a beneficiary register. This register may be based on the TST beneficiary register and include individuals who whakapapa to the relevant FHC Hapū.
Once FHCs have executed their Trust Deeds, an independent Returning Officer will complete the FHC elections to appoint FHC Trustees.
These elections will be run in accordance with the newly established FHC Trust Deeds. In order to satisfy TST Trust Deed requirements these FHC elections will need to be completed by 30 September 2012. This requirement is necessary to enable TST to carry out initial transfer of benefits to FHC trusts by the end of December 2012.
Once FHC Trusts have been established and Trustees have been elected, TST will be able to carry out transfer of benefits to FHC Trusts.
Transfer of benefits from TST to FHC Trusts will occur in two phases:
In order for you to be a part of the process and receive FHC updates it is important that TST has your correct details. Make sure that your registration details with TST are current and include all of your hapū affiliations!
If you are not affiliated by whakapapa to any FHC hapū, don’t panic! You will still be a beneficiary of TST.
If you are affiliated to a FHC Trust you will be entitled to be a beneficiary of that Trust as well as TST.
If you are affiliated to multiple FHC Trusts you will be entitled to be a beneficiary of each of those FHC Trusts as well as TST.
TST will be engaging with hapū to establish the FHC Trusts. To get involved, make sure you keep in touch with your hapū and attend FHC hui.