THE TRUST ESTABLISHED
The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board was established in 1926 pursuant to the Māori Land Amendment Act 1924 and Māori Land Claims Adjustment Act 1926.
FIRST MEMBERS APPOINTED
The first members of the Trust Board were appointed on the 15th November 1926. These members were:
Hoani Te Heuheu (Tukino VI)
Kahu Te Kuru
Taite Te Tomo
Takinga Arthur Grace
Werihe Te Tuiri
FIRST TRUST MEETING
The first Trust Board meeting was held at Tokaanu on the 24th November 1926. Hoani Te Heuheu was elected as the first Chairman and Puataata Alfred Grace as the first Secretary.
The Trust Board became a statutory entity in 1931 pursuant to the Māori Purposes Act 1931.
Maori Trust Boards Act
The Trust Board is currently constituted by the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955.
Return of Lake Bed
In 1992, under the leadership of Ariki Sir Hepi Te Heuheu, the Crown returned Taupō Waters to the Trust Board on behalf of and for the benefit of present and future generations of Ngāti Tūwharetoa.
In December 1999 the title to the beds of several rivers and streams flowing into Lake Taupō were transferred from the Crown to Ngāti Tūwharetoa through the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board.
The rivers and streams transferred include the Tongariro River, and major parts of the Waihora, Waihaha, Whanganui, Whareroa, Kuratau, Poutu, Waimarino, Tauranga- Taupo, Waipehi, Waiotaka, Hinemaiaia and Waitahanui rivers.
In 2007, under the leadership of Ariki Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, the terms of the 1992 arrangement with the Crown were enhanced with the 2007 Deed. This reaffirmed that the Trust Board has full ownership rights of Taupō Waters.
In accordance with the 1992 Deed the Taupo Nui A Tia Block, Te Awa O Waikato Ki Te Toka O Tia Block and Te Hokinga Mai o Te Papa o Nga Awa Ki Te Poari Hei Kaitiaki o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Tūwharetoa Block were vested in the Trust Board by the Māori Land Court and declared to be Māori freehold land.
Taupo District Council - Joint Management Agreement
On the 17 January 2009 Council granted Ngāti Tūwharetoa decision-making powers in resource consent decisions – the first time a New Zealand local government has transferred powers to an iwi.
The Joint Management Agreement was finalised at Tapeka Marae in Waihi Village, the principal home of Ngāti Tūwharetoa Paramount Chief Tumu te Heuheu. Mayor Rick Cooper signed alongside Dr te Heuheu, while New Zealand Governor-General Anand Satyanand witnessed the proceedings with other invited guests.
Waikato Regional Council - Joint Management Agreement
On the 22 May 2018 a ceremony was held to celebrate the landmark addition to the join management agreement (JMA) between Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board and Waikato Regional Council, which will see the parties working closely together over Taupō Waters.
Taupō Waters includes Lake Taupō and the tributaries flowing into and out of the lake. Previously the JMA solely addressed the upper Waikato River catchment.
First Iwi to be transferred Local Government functions
On behalf of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board becomes the first iwi authority in Aotearoa, to be transferred water monitoring functions from the Waikato Regional Council under Section 33 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
High Court Declaratory Judgment
On 23 July 2021 the High Court of New Zealand issued a Declaratory Judgment which confirmed the property rights of Ngāti Tūwharetoa – including the ability to require commercial users to obtain from the Trust Board, rights to occupy or use parts of the lake for commercial activities, and to charge commercial uses for the same.