About Te Arawa Trust

Whāinga Paetae - Vision

"Kia eke ki ngā taumata o Matariki"

Pae tata Tuatahi - Primary Strategic Objectives

The authority of Te Arawa is being readily recognised by all.

  • The quality of the water is such that you can see the footsteps of the kōura

Mā te wai mā e kitea ai ngā tapuwae o te kōura


  • TALT is well equipped for the journey ahead

Kia pakari te waka e pae ai ki uta

Pae Tata Tuarua - Secondary Strategic Objectives

  1. The collective assets of Te Arawa are co-ordinated and their contribution towards Te Arawa development is maximised.
  2. TALT has realised its potential in terms of authority, leadership and binding the multitude who are traveling together.

Ko te Pae Tawhiti - The Distant Foreshore

  • Mahinga Kai
  • Papa kāinga
  • Te Reo me ōna tikanga
  • Te Mana Whenua
  • Te Mana o te Wai
  • Te Mana Motuhake
  • Tino Rangatiratanga
  • Hauora / Tinana
  • Manutaki
  • Mahi Wāhi Moni
  • Te Pā harakeke
  • Tū Pakari
  • Te Taiao

History of the Trust

Te Arawa is one of seven Maori Tribes (indigenous peoples) of New Zealand. The area traditionally covered reaches from a small village named Maketu on the eastern seaboard to Tongariro mountain in the central North Island.

The Te Arawa Maori Trust Board was established in 1924, pursuant to Section 27 of the Native Land Amendment Act and the Native Land Claims Adjustment Act 1922, and now operates under the Maori Trust Board’s Act 1955.

Fifteen hapu were represented on the Board as well as one seat allocated for soldiers, totaling 19 representatives. The initial membership of the Board was based on ownership of the 14 Te Arawa lakes, which surround the Rotorua district, and remained the structure of the Board.  The Board’s statutory role was to administer an annual payment of $18,000 from the Crown, for the public use of the lakes.

Deed of Settlement

On 18 December 2004, the Crown and Te Arawa signed a Deed of Settlement for Te Arawa Historical Claims and Remaining Annuity Issues over 14 lakes; Lakes Rotoehu, Rotomä, Rotoiti/Te Roto- Whaiti-i-kite-ai-a-Ihenga-i-Ariki- ai- a Kahumatamomoe, Rotorua / Rotorua-nui-a Kahumatamomoe , Ōkataina / Te Moana i kataina a Te Rangitakaroro, Ōkareka, Rerewhakaaitu, Tarawera, Rotomahana, Tikitapu, Ngāhewa, Tutaeinanga, Ngäpouri/Opouri and Ökaro/Ngakaro.

The settlement is made up of a Redress package consisting of the following:

  • the acknowledgments and the apology given by the Crown to Te Arawa,
  • the Cultural Redress recognizing Te Arawa traditional, historical, cultural and spiritual association with the lakes covered in the settlement, including the transfer of 13 lakebeds; guaranteed and
  • the Financial Redress; and
  • the Annuity Redress

What We Do

TE ARAWA LAKES TRUST (formerly Te Arawa Māori Trust Board)

The Te Arawa Lakes Trust (formerly Te Arawa Maori Trust Board) is the new governance entity to receive and manage the redress on behalf of Te Arawa in which the benefits of the settlement will be available to all registered members of Te Arawa, wherever they live. The Chairman of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust is Toby Curtis.


The Trust is responsible for the sustainable and responsible oversight and management of Te Arawa's settlement assets. This includes:

  • The region's 14 lakes
  • Te Tuapapa o nga wai o Te Arawa / Te Arawa Cultural Values Framework
  • Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group
  • Fishing Licence Allocation (400 per annum)

The Trust's operations are managed by a Chief Executive, with administrative and financial support functions, including the management of the beneficiary register, provided by GHA.


Te Arawa Management Limited (TAML) originated from the desire of the shareholder to develop capacity in a separate yet wholly owned entity to optimise commercial resources, both those secured under and as part of the Te Arawa Lakes Settlement and also the commercial assets of the former Te Arawa Maori Trust Board.

TAML is tasked with maximising the creation of wealth for the shareholder from the company’s operations, given the resources available to the company. The company is a new entrant to the commercial sector but it is looking to quickly assert leadership amongst seasoned operators across a range of relevant activities.


Public access for recreational purposes, rights of navigation, existing structures and existing types of commercial activates are protected however individuals or businesses that wish to build new structures or modify existing structures on the lakebeds will need the consent of both Te Arawa and the Crown (Land Information New Zealand). Te Arawa and Land Information New Zealand will jointly consider applications.

  • Titles to 13 lakebeds have been vested in Te Arawa (Okaro remains vested in the Rotorua Lakes Council).

The Rotorua Lakes Strategy Group is made up of two representatives from each of the following bodies: Te Arawa Lakes Trust (formerly Te Arawa Māori Trust Board) Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council and to be a joint committee under the Local Government Act 2002. Legislation provides for the groups permanence and Te Arawa membership as of right and the groups purpose which is to promote the sustainable management of the Te Arawa/Rotorua Lakes and their catchments for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations, while recognising and providing for the traditional relationship of Te Arawa with the lakes.

Direct accountability to the beneficiaries as per the objectives prescribed within the Te Arawa Lakes Trust Deed means the Trust identifies and maintains the appropriate balance between Te Arawa social responsibility and financial sustainability as it moves forward.


Are you Registered???


Are you registered? Please complete and sign the registration form below and return it to: Te Arawa Lakes Trust PO…

Read More

Fishing Licence Registration is now CLOSED!


Kia hiwa rā! Kia hiwa rā! Te Arawa Whānui Registrations for Fishing licences are now open. To Register for a licence…

Read More

VACANCY: Te Hunga Hika Ahi Hapori – Community Action Coordinator Role – 3 year Fixed Term, Full Time Role


He tangata whakapoapoa koe i te hapori? Are you someone that encourages and inspires people to action? Do you like…

Read More
Lake Rotorua - from DP article 2014

DISCUSSION DOCUMENT: For the Te Arawa Lakes Trust Iwi Management Plan


The Te Arawa Lakes Trust is working on the an Iwi Management Plan to ensure that Te Tūāpapa is firmly…

Read More
Te Awara Lakes Ball 2018

Whakanui ngā Koeke o Te Arawa


Te Arawa Koeke ages 70+ are warmly invited to attend the Te Arawa Matariki Koeke Ball Enchanted Forest Green and…

Read More