The Trust was established to administer Māori Reserve lands, largely in urban Wellington, although it also administers a rural block in Kaitoke, Upper Hutt.
The Trust owns a total of 81 hectares of land.
The beneficial owners of the reserves are descendants of hapu of Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama, Taranaki, and Ngāti Ruanui tupuna who were living within the rohe in 1839. There are currently 6,850 registered beneficial owners and many other whānau through those beneficial owners.
Since gaining rights to exercise self-management, and despite the ongoing prejudicial legislation under which they have been forced to operate, the Trusts have managed their resources in a positive way, growing their value from around $100,000 in the late 1970’s, and now have total assets as at 31 March 2019 of $86.8 million. The beneficial owners of the Trust are now achieving a good economic return from their assets.
This is an enormous success story, particularly in view of the fact that, for most of their operation the Trusts were denied in legislation equality with other landowners.
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Anaru Smiler - Chairman
Anaru is of Te Ātiawa, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Rongowhakaata descent. His links to Te Ātiawa are through his father, Kingi Winiata Smiler, and his grandmother, Margret Wikitoria Smiler (nee Black). Anaru lives in Wellington with his wife and two children.
Anaru has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Victoria University in Wellington and currently works as the Chief Operating Officer at the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA). He has over 14 years’ experience working within the policy and regulatory environments in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and is actively involved in managing a number of Māori economic development initiatives.
Anaru is also the Co-Chairman of the Pipitea Marae Charitable Trust and Deputy Chairman of the Wairarapa Moana Trust. He has a passion for Māori economic development and well-being and appreciates the huge shoes he must fill to continue his whanau legacy!