How to become an Approved Client

Eligibility and capability

Trust funding is available to claimant groups who are participating in a Waitangi Tribunal District Inquiry, a Waitangi Tribunal Remedies Inquiry or in settlement negotiations with the Crown.

To be eligible to receive Trust funding in these cases, a claimant group must first become an Approved Client of the Trust. To become an Approved Client, a claimant group must satisfy Trustees that it meets the Trust’s eligibility and capability criteria. Information about these criteria can be found in the Trust’s claimant guide.

The eligibility and capability criteria for a Waitangi Tribunal District Inquiry, a Waitangi Tribunal Remedies Inquiry and for settlement negotiations with the Crown are different. It is important to refer to the correct criteria in the claimant guide for your purposes. Trust staff can assist if you are uncertain.

Applying for Approved Client status

A claimant group wishing to become an Approved Client must apply to the Trust by completing the relevant application forms and providing supporting documents to demonstrate that it meets the Trust’s eligibility and capability criteria.

The types of supporting documents to include in an Approved Client application are listed in the claimant guide. As a guide, these include:

  • copies of Wai claims involving Crown Forest Licensed Land and other Wai claims represented by the claimant group;
  • a map showing the claimant group’s area of interest;
  • hui minutes and attendance records, census figures, iwi registration data or other information demonstrating support from a significant portion of claimants in the district;
  • financial management policies, financial reports, audit reports, audited accounts, and
  • the constitution or rules of the entity.

The Trust must receive an Approved Client application, including supporting documents, by a specific date (i.e. typically one month before a Trustee meeting; these are usually held during the third week of each month). Trust staff can inform you of the most appropriate date to submit your application.

An Approved Client application must be in final form – not a draft. An incomplete application or an application with significant errors could affect the outcome.

Upon receiving an application, Trust staff will assess it against the Trust’s eligibility and capability criteria and then submit it to Trustees at the next available Trustee meeting. Only Trustees can decide about an Approved Client application.

If Trustees approve an application, the group will become an Approved Client of the Trust, typically for two years. During this period, the claimant group must maintain its eligibility and capability. Trust staff will actively monitor this. If a group’s eligibility and/or capability is affected by a material change (e.g. their settlement negotiations are suspended, or a Waitangi Tribunal Inquiry is stayed, or financial systems and processes are compromised), a group’s Approved Client status could be affected.

At the end of a group’s Approved Client status period, it must reapply to Trustees to remain an Approved Client for a further period.

Approved Client status does not guarantee funding

Becoming an Approved Client and obtaining Trust funds are two different processes. Becoming an Approved Client does not guarantee funding from the Trust. Rather, it is a mandatory step that must be achieved for a claimant group to be able to submit a funding request to Trustees.

Contact Trust staff

A claimant group wishing to apply for Approved Client status should contact the Trust before completing their application. This will ensure that unnecessary issues and delays are avoided. Email contact@cfrt.org.nz

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