April 10, 2014
Waitangi Trust changes crown role
A bill changing the governance structure of the Waitangi National Trust Board has today passed its first reading and been referred to the Maori Affairs select committee.
The board was set up in 1932 by Lord and Lady Bledisloe when they gifted the Treaty Grounds and surrounding land to the people of New Zealand.
It includes representatives of the families of some of those who were present at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, such as Hone Heke, Maihi Kawiti, Tamati Waka Nene, Pomare, James Busby, and Archdeacon Henry Williams.
The board looks after the Treaty Grounds, and under its deed cannot be a cost on the taxpayer.
Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson says the bill aims to separate off the government and the board, with the Governor-General becoming the Trust’s Honorary Patron rather than an ex-officio member.
Two Members of Parliament will also be appointed as full members of the board, one by the Prime Minister and one by the leader of the opposition, to help it maintain strong links with the elected representatives of New Zealand.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd