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A Māori Purposes Bill is an omnibus bill amending legislation relating to Māori affairs. The passage of the Māori Purposes Bill 2011 has resulted in the enactment of four new Acts: The Māori Trust Boards Amendment Act 2011, The Māori Purposes Act 2011, Te Ture Whenua Māori Amendment Act 2011 and the Māori Fisheries Amendment Act 2011.
These Acts, which came into force on the 16 September 2011, make a range of important changes to legislation affecting Māori:
A copy of the Regulatory Impact Statement relating to the Māori Purposes Bill produced by Te Puni Kōkiri on 25 May 2010 can be found here.
The Māori Trust Boards Amendment Act 2011 has amended the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955 to provide for direct accountability between Trust Boards and their beneficiaries.
Historically, Māori Trust Boards were created to receive compensation from the early settlement of grievances against the Crown. The Māori Trust Boards Act 1955 was enacted to standardise the administration of Māori Trust Boards and the use of Trust Board assets in the promotion of the welfare of their beneficiaries.
Māori Trust Boards have a wide discretion in administering their assets, so to protect the interest of their beneficiaries, the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955 required Māori Trust Boards to be accountable to the Minister of Māori Affairs for their financial arrangements. In particular, Māori Trust Boards were required to:
In the modern environment it is more appropriate for Māori Trust Boards to be directly accountable to their beneficiaries rather than to the Minister of Māori Affairs.
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