From Diane Holloway – Secretary George & Lylla Skerrett Whanu Trust
Each time a succession is made the next generation’s portion of land shrinks further in size. Eventually (and in some instances it has already occurred) the shareholding will be zero.
The Trustees assured me at yesterday’s AGM that due to recent or pending law changes, this would not make any difference to voting rights for these owners but if there are any financial dividends in the future the people who have arrived at zero shareholding (through succession) could get nothing.
A way to stop this from happening is to set up family trusts. If you are already at zero it may be possible to set up your trust beginning with the generation before you who still had an identifiable share.
I urge everyone who has not already done so to set up their trust before it is too late.
Associated with all Maori land on Rakiura are beneficial owners and these owners vary from section to section. In order to become a beneficial owner you must succeed to the Land through the Maori Land Court which is the legal entity that confirms the right to succession and thus beneficial ownership of the RMLT lands. The Trust cannot ignore or override the Land Court decisions and therefore until you have completed a succession order you can not exercise any official or legal claim to rights within the land.
If you have rights to land within the Trust you will need to succeed through the Maori Land court by filing a succession order with the court. The succession process can be time consuming if you don’t know the process. There is a good booklet available to assist you, which we suggest you take a look at. See the links below for more information.
Owners Detail Updates:
RMLT has a large number of owners involved in nearly a 100 sections of Maori Land under it’s administration. Keeping owners information up to date is a difficult task and we need your assistance to achieve this. If you haven’t filed an owners update form please do so now, or record any changes in your details such as change of address or telephone number etc. on the RMLT Owner Details Update form found on the sidebar of the Owners information page.