Public Trust Act 2001

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Reprint as at 1 July 2014

Public Trust Act 2001

Public Act2001 No 100
Date of assent14 December 2001
Commencementsee section 2


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary provisions

3 Purpose

4 Interpretation

5 Application of Act where Public Trust acts jointly

6 Relationship between this Act and other Acts and instruments

Part 2
Establishment of Public Trust

7 Establishment of Public Trust

7A Application of Crown Entities Act 2004

8 Functions of Public Trust

9 Objectives of Public Trust

10 Independence of Public Trust in its fiduciary functions

11 Powers

12 Method of contracting

13 Application of Public Finance Act 1989

Board of Public Trust

14 Board of Public Trust

15 Board's management duty [Repealed]

16 Board's powers [Repealed]

17 Board may appoint committees [Repealed]

Delegations by board

18 Delegations generally

19 Delegation of powers to make affidavits, etc

20 Certain powers not to be delegated

21 Effect of delegation [Repealed]

22 Presumption of acting in accordance with delegation [Repealed]

23 Other matters relating to delegation [Repealed]

24 Execution of documents [Repealed]

25 Presumption of authority to execute document [Repealed]

Chief executive of Public Trust

26 Chief executive

27 Terms and conditions of employment of chief executive [Repealed]

28 Delegations by chief executive [Repealed]

Employees of Public Trust


29 Personnel policy [Repealed]

30 Equal employment opportunities programme [Repealed]

31 Appointment of employees of Public Trust [Repealed]

32 Establishment of superannuation schemes [Repealed]

33 Employees not in service of the Crown [Repealed]

Declaration of fidelity and secrecy

34 Declaration of fidelity and secrecy

Part 3
Financial provisions

General provisions

35 Funds of Public Trust

36 Public Trust bank accounts

37 Investment of funds

38 Public Trust not to borrow without consent of Minister of Finance

39 Audit Office to be auditor of Public Trust [Repealed]

40 Annual report [Repealed]

Public Trust and the Crown

41 Ownership interest of the Crown

42 Deficiency payable out of Crown Bank Account

43 Distributions to the Crown

44 Payment by the Crown for non-commercial activities

45 Power to request information [Repealed]

46 Refusal of request to supply information

Part 4

47 Investments generally

Common fund of Public Trust

48 Common fund

49 Investment of common fund

50 Interest payable to estates in common fund

51 Public Trust acting under section 75 as agent to invest in common fund

52 Deficiency in common fund to be made good out of public money

53 Power to deal with land investments

54 Public Trust may apply common fund money for purpose of buying in securities

55 Extensions or renewals of common fund investments

56 Advances to estates from common fund

57 Advances to beneficiaries from common fund

58 Person acting jointly with Public Trust

Investments otherwise than in common fund

59 Separate investments of estate money

60 Special investments

61 Investments in group investment funds

62 Investments outside common fund not guaranteed

Group investment funds

63 Public Trust may establish group investment funds

64 Investment of group investment funds

65 Income and capital of group investment fund

66 Periodic capital valuation of investments of fund

67 Capital valuation of fund comprising investments in real estate

68 Timing of investments and withdrawals

69 Withdrawal of amounts from fund

70 Reimbursement of expenses

71 Management fees

72 Powers of Public Trust in respect of group investment funds

72B Powers to adjust interest in trust property of fund that is portfolio investment entity

73 Examination of group investment funds

74 Duties, etc, of Public Trust not affected by sections 63 to 73

Part 5
Acquisition of right to administer estates

75 Duties for which Public Trust may be appointed

76 Appointment of Public Trust by executors, administrators, and trustees

77 Public Trust entitled on application to administration of intestate estates

78 Public Trust may be appointed sole trustee where appointment of 2 or more trustees provided for

79 Judge may consent to Public Trust's appointment if person whose consent required refuses or unable to consent

80 Power of Public Trust to administer if no application for probate or administration

81 Trustees may delegate powers to Public Trust

82 Powers and authorities exercisable by Public Trust pending grant of probate or administration

83 Notice of exercise of powers and authorities under section 82 to person entitled to probate or administration

84 Public Trust may oppose application for administration

85 Payment of legacies of infants to Public Trust

86 Administration of benefit funds by Public Trust

General matters

87 Public Trust on appointment to have same rights, etc, as private person

88 Property, rights, etc, to vest in Public Trust on appointment

89 Provisions relating to applications for grants of administrations

90 Public Trust acting jointly with another person

91 Costs

92 Part does not restrict operation of certain provisions

Part 6
Elections to administer

93 Public Trust may elect to administer small estates without grant of administration

94 Elections in respect of unadministered balance of estate

95 Operation of election under section 93 or section 94 as regards property overseas

96 Revocation of elections filed in error

97 Elections to administer jointly with another person

98 Copy of election

Part 7
Unclaimed property

99 Appointment of Public Trust as manager of unclaimed property

100 Mode of appointment

101 Public Trust may elect to manage property of low value

102 Order vesting property in Public Trust or other person

103 Powers of Public Trust as manager

104 Power of Public Trust to pay for improvements

105 Sale or transfer to occupier or other person entitled to land

106 Property to be held for owner

107 Termination of management

108 Transfer of unclaimed property to Crown

109 Land, etc, becoming property of Crown may be vested in local authority

Miscellaneous provisions

110 Public Trust to have discretion as to exercise of powers

111 Public Trust may apply to court for directions

112 Deficiency in recovery of remuneration and expenses of Public Trust

113 Documents executed by Public Trust

114 Order or notice not affected by mistake of fact

115 Evidence in respect of unclaimed property

116 Crown not affected

117 Limitation Act 2010 not affected

Part 8
Miscellaneous provisions

118 Special powers that may be exercised by Public Trust

119 Public Trust may act on written statement, etc

120 Public Trust may sue itself in different capacity

121 Public Trust may transact business with subsidiary companies

122 Remuneration

123 Special services

124 Review of charges

125 Additional remuneration

126 Power of Public Trust to make small payments without order

127 Public Trust may bar claims for small amounts

128 Conditions on which tenant for life may be allowed into possession

129 Declaration of non-revocation unnecessary where Public Trust executes document as attorney

130 Deposit of wills

131 Existence of property belonging to estate being administered by Public Trust to be disclosed

132 Protection of purchasers and others

133 No notice of trust to arise merely from dealing with Public Trust

134 Registration of shares

135 Public Trust may evidence and register dealings in land when acting in different capacities

136 Same remedies against Public Trust as against other persons

137 Protection of Public Trust acting under power of attorney

138 Protection of Public Trust acting under order of court

139 Validity of acts by Public Trust under administration granted in error

140 Board members and employees not personally liable except for fraud or crime [Repealed]

141 Limitation of liability

142 Liability of office solicitor in conveyancing transactions

143 Costs of legal proceedings

144 Certificate by Public Trust as to its legal status in any matter

145 Certificate where Public Trust acting jointly

146 Service of notices by Public Trust

147 Regulations

Part 9
Transfer of Public Trust undertaking

148 Interpretation

149 Vesting of existing undertaking

150 Transfer of fiduciary rights and liabilities

151 Dissolution of Public Trustee, Public Trust Office, and Investment Board

152 References in instruments

153 Status of contracts and other instruments

154 Status of existing securities

155 Continuation of proceedings

156 Effect of Act

157 Books and documents to remain evidence

158 Registers

159 Liability of employees and agents

Transfer of employees

160 Transfer of existing employees

161 Terms and conditions of employment of transferred employees

162 Continuity of employment

163 No compensation for technical redundancy

164 Contributors to Government Superannuation Fund

Application of Income Tax Act 1994

165 Application of Income Tax Act 1994

Application of Securities Act 1978

166 Application of Securities Act 1978

Amount of reserves to be paid to the Crown

167 Amount of reserves to be paid to the Crown before appointed day

Part 10
Repeals, amendments, and transitional provisions

168 Repeals

169 Revocations

170 Amendments to other enactments

171 Transitional provision in relation to existing investments in group investment funds

172 Financial statement and report on operations for period commencing 1 July 2001

Schedule 1
Provisions relating to board


Schedule 2
Amendments to other Acts

Schedule 3
Local Acts amended

Schedule 4
Private Acts amended

Schedule 5
Regulations amended

Reprint notes