Reprint as at 16 November 2009

Māori Trustee Act 1953

Public Act1953 No 95
Date of assent26 November 1953
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by Te Puni Kōkiri.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

Māori Trustee established

3 Māori Trustee established

Capacity, powers, and status of Māori Trustee

4 Capacity and powers of Māori Trustee

5 Independence of Māori Trustee

Provisions relating to appointment of Māori Trustee

6 Appointment of Māori Trustee

6A Continuation of appointment

6B Termination of appointment of Māori Trustee

Appointments by Māori Trustee

6C Deputy Māori Trustee

6D Other employees


6E Delegation by Māori Trustee

Further provisions relating to powers and functions of Māori Trustee

7 Judicial notice of appointment of Māori Trustee, etc

8 Contracts of Māori Trustee

9 Delegation of powers of Māori Trustee

10 Authorised officer may make declaration on behalf of Māori Trustee

11 Māori Trustee may accept special trusts

12 Pending grant of probate or administration, Māori Trustee may administer estates of deceased Maoris

12A Power of Māori Trustee to elect to administer small estates without grant of administration

12B Elections in respect of unadministered balance of an estate

12BA Court fees payable on elections, etc

12C Intestate estates

12D Application for probate in testate estates

12DA Appointment of Māori Trustee by executors, administrators, and trustees

12E Place of application

13 General authority for Māori Trustee to act as agent or trustee or in other representative capacity

13A Māori Trustee not required to give bond

13B Māori Trustee may enter into joint ventures

14 Māori Trustee may use revenues of land administered by him in acquisition of other land required for incidental purposes

14A Māori Trustee may recognise committee of beneficial owners

15 Māori Trustee may grant easements over land administered by him

16 Māori Trustee may sell personal property

16A Payment of claims when assets insufficient [Repealed]

Māori Trustee's Account

17 Māori Trustee's Account

18 Branch accounts [Repealed]

19 Cheques drawn on Maori Trustee's Account [Repealed]

20 Cheques drawn on branch account [Repealed]

21 Authority to sign cheques or other instruments [Repealed]

22 Other accounts

Separate funds within Māori Trustee's Account

23 Accounts within the Māori Trustee's Account

Special investment accounts

24 Māori Trustee may receive moneys for investment otherwise than in Common Fund

24A Māori Trustee may borrow money

Common Fund

25 Deposits in Common Fund

26 Money held in Common Fund invested in Fund

26A Management fees

26B Disclosure requirements

27 Guarantee of Common Fund

28 Investment of Common Fund

29 Margin of security

30 Unclaimed moneys in Common Fund

30A Unclaimed agency money

General Purposes Fund

31 Investment of moneys in General Purposes Fund

32 Special purposes for which moneys in General Purposes Fund may be used

32A Guarantees and indemnities

33 Authorising establishment and maintenance of Maori hostels out of General Purposes Fund

34 Assurance Fund [Repealed]

35 Limited authority to make donations out of General Purposes Fund for philanthropic or other purposes [Repealed]

36 Acquisition, use, and disposal of buildings

37 Māori Trustee may provide housing accommodation for officers of department

38 Māori Trustee may apply money in General Purposes Fund for purposes of property vested in or controlled by him

39 Māori Trustee may acquire land on behalf of Maoris

40 Māori Trustee may acquire land to provide sites for Maori dwellings

41 Contribution to Crown Bank Account towards expenses of Maori Trust Office [Repealed]

41A Reserved and Vested Land Purchase Fund [Repealed]

41B Payments out of Purchase Fund [Repealed]

41C Maori Trustee may purchase interests in reserved land and vested land [Repealed]

41D Maori Trustee may acquire uneconomic interests in reserved land and vested land [Repealed]

41E Disposition of interests acquired [Repealed]

41F Exemption from stamp duty [Repealed]

Miscellaneous provisions

42 Māori Trustee may accept chattel security, etc

43 Assignment of rents to Māori Trustee

44 Māori Trustee may apply moneys held by him on behalf of Maori in satisfaction of moneys payable to Māori Trustee by that Maori

45 Māori Trustee may accept payment and give discharge for moneys payable to Maoris

45A Payment to Māori Trustee of proceeds of Maori land held for 6 years or more

46 Court may direct that rents in respect of Maori land be paid to Māori Trustee

46A Māori Trustee not obliged to act on orders for payment

46B Assignment of money in hands of Māori Trustee

46C Power of Māori Trustee to make small payments without order

46D Disposition of small sums held for beneficiaries [Repealed]

47 Court may direct payment to Maori Trustee of compensation for land taken under Part 4 of Public Works Act 1928 [Repealed]

48 Māori Trustee may charge commission in respect of his services

48A Māori Trustee may bar small claims

49 Māori Trustee may register memorial of charge against land

50 Memorandum of extension of lease

51 Maori Trustee to furnish annual balance sheet [Repealed]

52 Regulations

53 Repeals and savings [Repealed]

Enactments repealed

Māori Trustee Amendment Act 2009

Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend certain provisions of the law relating to the Māori Trustee

  • Title: amended, on 1 July 2009, pursuant to section 30(2)(a) of the Māori Trustee Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 12).