Help for Māori governance entities under new legislation

Published on Thursday, 21 May 2020

New legislation is now in place to support Māori governance entities to operate in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions

Unanticipated challenges to how governance entities operate under COVID-19 restrictions, such as with holding AGMs or voting, has led the Government to pass temporary relief to the way entities can operate.

The changes that will be able to be applied by entities up to 30 November 2020 include:

  • enabling the use of electronic communications when an entity’s constitution or rules do not permit this
  • allowing entities to temporarily modify aspects of their constitutions or rules
  • giving registrars and Ministers the power to grant exemptions from certain statutory obligations.

The new provisions can be applied by entities where their own processes or rules prevent them from operating effectively i.e. where it would be impossible or impracticable to fulfil normal operations due to the effects of COVID-19.

The new provisions apply to the following Māori governance entities:

  • assembled owners (under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993)
  • Māori associations (under the Māori Community Development Act 1962)
  • Māori land trusts (under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993)
  • Māori incorporations (under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993)
  • Māori reservations (under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993)
  • Māori trust boards (Māori Trust Boards Act 1955).

There is extensive information, including factsheets, for entities about what to do when applying the new provisions here.

For background you can read news item for introduction of the Bill: Law changes for businesses and Māori governance entities

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