About the Trust

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust was set up under the Crown Forest Assets Act 1989, after the New Zealand Māori Council and Federation of Māori Authorities took court action to protect Māori interests in the Crown’s commercial forests.

The Act allowed the Crown to sell licences for forestry, but prevented it from selling the land itself until the Waitangi Tribunal recommends who has ownership of the land – Māori or the Crown.

Crown Forestry Rental Trust (‘the Trust’):

  • operates within a Trust Deed;
  • provides funding to eligible Māori claimants to prepare, present and negotiate claims against the Crown, which involve, or could involve, Crown forest licensed lands, and
  • reports annually to the Minister of Finance, who is the Trustees’ Crown appointor, and to the New Zealand Māori Council (NZMC) and Federation of Māori Authorities Incorporated (FOMA), who are jointly the Trustees’ Māori Appointor.

The Trust funds come from annual rental fees for licences to use certain Crown forest licensed lands. Until the beneficial owners of the lands have been determined, the Trust:

  • invests the rental proceeds and holds them in trust, and
  • applies the interest earned on the rental proceeds to help eligible Māori claimants prepare, present and negotiate claims which involve or could involve Crown forest licensed lands.

The accumulated rental fees for all Crown forest licensed lands are returned to successful claimants who are the confirmed beneficiaries as a result of achieving negotiated settlements with the Crown. If, at the end of the Trust’s operational life, it retains any Trust funds (which have not been returned to successful claimants), these funds will be returned to the Crown.

Settling claims is the responsibility of claimants and the Crown.

Founding documents

Forestry Agreement 1989
Made between the Crown, and the NZMC and FOMA, plus the amending Deed made on 17 October 1989.

The Crown Forest Assets Act 1989
This Act provided for:

  • management of the Crown’s forest assets;
  • transfer of those assets, while protecting the claims of Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, and
  • transfer of Crown forest licensed lands to Māori ownership and payment of compensation in the case of successful claims under that Act.

Trust Deed for Crown Forestry Rental Trust, April 1990 (amended 26 September 2018)
Key provisions included:

  • the purpose and duration of the Trust;
  • Trust funds;
  • number of Trustees;
  • appointment of Trustees;
  • powers, duties and liability of Trustees;
  • removal of Trustees;
  • payments to claimants;
  • allocation and distribution of Trust funds, and
  • procedure on winding up.
Crown Forestry Rental Trust

The Trust:

  • has six Trustees (three appointed by the Minister of Finance acting as the Crown Appointor and three appointed by the Federation of Māori Authorities and the New Zealand Māori Council acting as the Māori Appointor);
  • has staff with research, mapping, financial and funding, contract management, and Treaty-sector expertise;
  • is based in Wellington.

The Trust has two business units – Funded Services and Corporate Services and Assurance.

Funded Services performs the Trust’s client/claimant interfacing role. This includes engaging directly with claimant groups and Approved Clients, providing operational, specialist advice, research and mapping funding advice to help them access Trust funds and assessing funding requests and making recommendations to Trustees. Funded Services consists of a Senior Advisor and a Principal Advisor with research, mapping, contract management and Treaty-sector expertise.
All queries about how to become an Approved Client and how to obtain Trust funds should be directed to Funded Services staff. Email contact@cfrt.org.nz

Corporate Services and Assurance manages the Trust’s financial, information management, administration and human resource administration functions.

Crown Forestry Rental Trust has six Trustees, who are appointed by designated Appointors:

  • For the Crown – the Minister of Finance as Crown Appointor, appoints three Trustees, and
  • For Māori – the New Zealand Māori Council and the Federation of Māori Authorities appoint three Trustees.

Trustee powers and duties are defined in the Trust Deed, and broadly include:

  • duties to account for forest rental fees paid to the Trust;
  • duties to report to Appointors;
  • powers to invest rental fees, and
  • powers to apply interest income to help eligible Māori claimants prepare, present and negotiate claims that involve, or could involve, Crown forest licensed lands.

Current Trustees

Mr Rakihia Tau

Rakihia is the Crown Forestry Rental Trust Chair. Rakihia’s his first career was in engineering, being certified with Advance Trade Certificate in fitting and turning, and he is also a qualified Marine Engineer. After qualifying with a B.Com and MBA, he began his second career in business and commerce.

He was one of 5 principal negotiators for the Ngāi Tahu Claim. He has held several senior governance positions including being past chair of the SOE AgriQuality Ltd and a director of Ngāi Tahu Properties Ltd.

Rakihia has also held senior executive positions within the public (publically listed) and private sectors. Rakihia is a Partner and Commercial Director of the consultancy firm Arahia.

Rakihia joined the Trust in July 2013.

Mr Paul Majurey

Paul has been a lawyer for 30 years, most of those as a partner at Russell McVeagh and in more recent years as a partner at Atkins Holm Majurey. His expertise is in Treaty, Māori and environmental law, having appeared as senior counsel before the specialist environmental and Treaty courts and tribunals, and the superior courts including the Privy Council and Supreme Court. Paul has served on three Ministerial technical advisory groups and is a co-author of the leading environmental law textbook.

Paul has extensive Treaty negotiations governance experience, chairing three separate iwi/hapū collectives comprising 30 iwi/hapū. He is a chair or director of several company boards, especially for his Marutūāhu and Pare Hauraki iwi interests. Paul also chairs or is a member of several statutory entities.

Paul joined the Trust in November 2014.

Hon Tau Henare

Hon Tau Henare has a background in community development, early childhood education and union organisation and has extensive experience in public policy.

Tau was elected to Parliament as the member for Northern Māori from 1993 to 1996 and as MP for Te Tai Tokerau from 1996 to 1999, and was Minister of Māori Affairs from 1996 to 1999.

He was a list MP with the National Party from 2005 to 2014, and Chairman of the Māori Affairs Select Committee from 2008 to 2014. Tau was appointed to the Housing New Zealand Board at the end of 2015 and the Independent Māori Statutory Board in November 2016.

Hon Tau Henare has been a Trustee since 1 October 2016.

Ms Bronwyn Koroheke

Bronwyn KorohekeMs Koroheke has 25+ years experience in providing financial, accounting and business expertise and 10 years in senior finance roles. She is experienced in various sectors including tertiary education, local and regional government, health, energy, and the Māori and corporate sectors. She is an experienced Chief Financial Officer, and has worked at Māori Television and for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa as Chief Financial Officer. She also has 20+ years experience in operating in kaupapa Māori organisations and has extensive Māori networks.

Ms Koroheke has been a Trustee since 6 November 2017.

Ms Lynell Huria

Lynell is a Managing Partner at Kāhui Legal law firm. She has over 25 years experience working in the intellectual property field, assisting small start-up businesses through to large multi-national corporations, whānau, hapū, and iwi.

Lynell has also built a practice around advising Māori, government, and industry on the protection of cultural heritage. Lynell also has a long history of volunteer work and governance positions across a range of community organisations.

Lynell has been a Trustee since 1 July 2020.

Annette Sykes

Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino, Te Arawa waka

Annette SykesAnnette has been a Director of a number of companies that were established as a consequence of litigation initiated against the New Zealand Government to uphold Māori customary fishing rights. She was a founding member of the Māori Broadcasting Agency, Te Mangai Pāhō which was established as a consequence of claims by Māori to protect Māori language for present and future generations.

She has been a long standing advocate of Māori land rights and appears regularly before the New Zealand Courts and in the special jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal.

She has attended numerous international seminars over the years promoting the rights of indigenous peoples and gave evidence in the Women’s Court against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001 and forums in Bali and the Pacific that looked at the questions of human trafficking and militarisation of the Pacific to the detriment of the indigenous populations affected.

Annette is currently a Principal of her own law firm Annette Sykes & Co based in Rotorua which seeks to re‑establish the operation of Māori systems of law and custom, Tikanga Māori as the first law of this country. However, outside of the law practice, Annette is currently a member of Te Tai Timu Tai Pari Technical Roopu, who provide technical expertise and knowledge to Te Arawhiti on the transition of takutai moana rights under the resource management reforms, and also a member of Te Tai Kaha technical roopu who provide expert advice to the Ministry for the Environment on Te Mana o Te Wai Policy in the Three Waters Legislation.

Chief Executive, Andrew French

Andrew started at the Trust in February 2009 as Chief Operating Officer. He was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in December 2022. Before that he had spent five years in Korea as New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner heading a team which helped facilitate trade and investment between NZ and Korea. Andrew has a wide breadth of experience in economic and business development, having worked for a wide range of organisations including NZTE, the Māori Economic Development Commission, Treasury, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Andrew has a BSocSci (Honours) in economics and geography and a Masters degree in business studies. Andrew’s iwi affiliations are Muaūpoko, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Hauiti and Whakātohea.

Licensed Crown forest land was created in 1989 with the passage of the Crown Forests Assets Act which established Crown Forest Licences that allowed the Crown to sell the forests whilst retaining the underlying land.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) manages Crown Forest Licenced land on behalf of the Crown and administers the forestry licences the Crown has granted to forestry companies to grow trees on the land. The rent from these licences are transferred to Crown Forestry Rental Trust, which holds and invests the rental proceeds on behalf of future successful Treaty of Waitangi claimants. When settlements are completed which include licensed Crown forest land as redress, the accumulated rentals for that land are transferred to the settling group. The settling group also receives the ongoing rental for the land from the licence holders. The transfer of the land has no effect on the licence holders.

Many CFLLs (including land and accumulated rentals) have now been returned to beneficial owners as a result of the work of the Trust and subsequent settlements between iwi and the Crown.

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