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The History of Te Whaiti Nui a Toi

Amalgamation of Te Whaiti Nui a Toi Blocks


From the 1940s to the 1960s the people of Ngāti Whare wanted to develop what was left of their lands (still in Māori ownership) in the Crown operated development schemes. The land left in Māori ownership was exceedingly small and high priority was given to other areas with larger amounts of land. Crown assistance came in the 1970s where plans were drafted to develop Te Whaiti lands.

 In the 1970’s the Crown considered that land was better suited for forestry rather than pastoral farming and plans were drafted in 1971. The Crown wanted to utilise underdeveloped Māori land for profit purposes (selling trees), provide return to the owners and increase recreation and environmental land value. The people of Ngati Whare wanted to use the land for exotic forestry that would provide a source of income to assist in repairing marae and provide employment opportunities for the people, while at the same time protecting their wahi tapu sites. 

Much of Māori owed land was consolidated in January 1974 by the Māori Land Court (MLC) with all 33 original block names, Tawa-a-Tionga B 53.23ha, Kaitangikaka B1 38.90ha, Kaitangikaka B2 375.01ha, Kaitangikaka B3 82.45ha, Kaitangikaka A 55.94ha, Okui 1A 4.38ha, Okui 1B 4.11ha, Okui 2 4.86ha, Te Apu No.1 34.50ha, Te Apu No.2 54.65ha, Tauwharekopua 118.46ha, Rautahi No.1 55.68ha, Rautahi No. 2 45.14ha, Te Tuturi C 43.94ha, Huirangi 103.19ha, Te Whaiti Residue B 1,610.30ha, Pt Sec. 1 Blk XIII Ahikereru SD 119.03ha, Umurakau 32.38ha, Tahupango A 36.40ha, Tahupango B 47.58ha, Tahupango C2 36.02ha, Waireporepo 2A2 .51ha, Waireporepo 2A3 1.82ha, Waireporepo 2B1A .47ha, Waireporepo 2B1B .55ha, Waireporepo 2C1 .40ha, Waireporepo 2C2 .40ha, Waireporepo 2C3 4.68ha, Waireporepo 2D1 1.21ha, Waireporepo 2D2 13.79ha, Waireporepo 2D3 15.24ha, Tuturi B .53ha and Waireporepo 2E 31.48ha being removed and replaced with a new block name Te Whaiti Nui A Toi.

The impact of removing the original block names, was not known at the time but it is now evident that whānau links to the individual whenua blocks was lost. Not only was the land consolidated but so were owners interests. Whanau had wahi tapu, whare and mahinga kai on these blocks and because of the consolidation they no longer existed legally. Māori owners now had shares in one big block called Te Whaiti Nui A Toi.

Under section 438 of the Māori Affairs Act 1953 the Court vested 7,777-acre block in the Māori Trustee. 4,983 acres leased for forestry purposes and the remaining 2,794 acres deemed unsuitable for either forestry or farming because of the nature and layout of the land. The Māori Trustee was able to use, manage or alienate the remaining 2,794 acres how they saw fit. This area was subsequently designated a reserve under Te Ture Whenua Act.

The Māori Trustee entered into negotiations with the Crown for the lease of the forest.It is implied that this was due to Ngati Whare needing funds for marae immediately and could not wait 30 years for harvesting.Forest leases were usually for a period of 99 years, but Ngati Whare did not want to lose control over their lands. Six beneficial owners were appointed as Advisory Trustees to the Māori Trustee, but this was merely a token as they were not always kept informed of key developments.The provisions in the draft lease stipulated that Ngati Whare and the Crown would share harvesting profits while providing some income for the owners. In August 1975, the profit-sharing provision was abandoned because of the rising and unprecedented inflation in NZ.

In 1976 the lease was finalised for a period of 90 years with no provisions of profit sharing, nor did it have any rental review clause, other than CPI adjustments.Ngati Whare owners were paid $8,100 per annum for the whole term of the lease with annual adjustment by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).These “novel” terms were decided by the Crown offices and not the owners of the land.

The forest lease was established including the block known as Tawa A Tionga A. This block was not included in the amalgamation of blocks creating Te Whaiti Nui A Trust but the Trust receives rental for it and accounts back to the separate Tawa A Tionga Trust.

Birth of Te Whaiti Nui A Toi Trust


In August 1989, the Māori Land Court transferred Te Whaiti Nui a Toi lease from the Māori Trustee to beneficial owner trustees, establishing Te Whaiti-Nui-A-Toi Trust.

From 1994 land values and market rentals rapidly accelerated, relative to consumer prices meaning that owners of Te Whaiti Nui a Toi returns were much lower than other forestry owners. The lease did not benefit the owners at all and was widely recognised as the worst lease in the country.


In 2006 the trustees after 10 years of negotiation with Crown Forestry , were finally able to renegotiate an improved lease with Crown, shortening the term to two (2) rotations expiring in 2038 and including five (5) yearly market rent reviews and compensation for past low rentals. This only occurred due to political intervention at the persistence of the Trustees.

The Trustees invested funds received into a managed investment portfolio to grow the Putea so that when full control of the lands are returned to the Trust there will be funds available to manage future forestry rotations if the Trustees and Owners wish to be the foresters going forward.

In 2012 an area of 45.08ha known as Te Tuturi block was taken out of the lease and returned to the Trust as it had limited forestry on it and contained a number of houses. 

As at 31 March  2022 the investment portfolio has grown to $3,352,950.

The annual market rental received under the forestry lease is currently $207,500 p.a.

In 2022 the trustees are preparing, planning, and developing necessary infrastructure and systems for the return of the first forestry block comprising 153ha of forest from the Crown to Te Whaiti Nui a Toi Trust in 2025 and the remainder of the blocks as they are harvested up to 2038.




Andrew Te Amo


Doug Rewi


Renee Rewi


Peter White



Murray Patchell


Trust Lands

Block ID : 38747
District : Waiariki
Title Order Type : Other
Title Order Ref : 173 ROT 272-276
Title Notice Ref : -
Title Order Date : 16/01/1974
Land Status : Maori Freehold Land
Plan : ML 404694
LINZ Ref : 306668
Area (ha) : 3024.9342
Total Shares : 91407
Total Owners : 2821