Edmonds Judd

Advisory Trustees

Tenure review has ended

In the Autumn 2019 (No 29) issue of Rural eSpeaking, we reported that the Land Information Minister had announced that tenure review of Crown pastoral land under the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 (CPLA) would end. On 17 May 2022, the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Act 2022 (CPLRA) became law. In this article, we outline what is included in the new legislation, what will continue to be dealt with under the old Act, and how the Crown proposes managing this land.

In February 2019, the then Minister of Land Information, the Hon Eugenie Sage, introduced a discussion document setting out proposals as to how Crown pastoral land could be managed following the end of tenure review. Feedback was sought on the implications of ending the tenure review, the outcomes the Crown was seeking for Crown pastoral land and what changes could be made to the Crown Pastoral Land Regulatory System to achieve those outcomes.

The passing of the CPLRA on 17 May 2022 (the Commencement Date) is a result of both the resolution to end tenure review, and the decisions made following the circulation of the discussion document and the feedback received. Tenure review ended on the Commencement Date (except for some exemptions as set out in column 2) with most of the rest of the CPLRA coming into effect on 17 November 2022.

Aspects continuing under the old legislation

Tenure review ended on the date the bill became law (17 May 2022) except where[1]:

  • A substantive proposal had been accepted under Section 60 of the CPLA before the Commencement Date notwithstanding that that proposal is still being processed by the Commissioner, and
  • A substantive proposal had been put to a holder before the Commencement Date and where the holder had not accepted it before the Commencement Date but the three-month period during which they had to accept the proposal had not expired before the Commencement Date.

All other tenure reviews are discontinued, and the Commissioner of Crown Lands is not to take any further actions to progress any of those reviews.

Other exceptions

There were certain other matters that, if they were in progress under the CPLA or the Land Act 1948, will continue to be dealt with notwithstanding the passing of the CPLRA. These are[2]:

  • Consents to undertake pastoral activities
  • Consents to transfer leases
  • Exemptions from stock limitations or their variation or revocation
  • Recreation permits under Section 66A of the Land Act 1948, and
  • Easements.

These matters must be dealt with by the Commissioner as if the CPLRA had not been enacted.

How will the Crown manage this land?

With the ending of tenure review, how does the Crown propose to manage this land?

Tenure review was based on the proposition that it was better to end the leasehold regime with the Crown taking full and unencumbered ownership of this alpine land in exchange for allowing the leaseholder to purchase the freehold of parts of it.

The situation now is that the land will continue to be leasehold, that is, the Crown continues to own it; the leaseholders’ perpetually renewable leases will continue and therefore the leaseholders will have a legal estate akin to ownership. This situation does not, however, give leaseholders complete freedom as to how they use or deal with the land (subject to the usual Resource Management Act 1991 restraints) that freehold ownership would give them.

How does the Crown propose to fulfil the objectives of the CPLRA? These are[3]:

To provide for the administration of pastoral land in a way that seeks to achieve the following outcomes:

(a) Maintaining or enhancing inherent values across the Crown pastoral estate for present and future generations, while providing for ongoing pastoral faming of pastoral land:

(b) Supporting the Crown in its relationships with Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi:

(c) Enabling the Crown to get a fair return on its ownership interest in pastoral land.

Crown will be a more active landlord

The CPLRA intends to achieve these objectives in the ways that were foreshadowed in the discussion document. Basically, the existing regulatory regime is to be beefed up so that the Crown is a more active landlord in promoting the ecological, landscape, cultural heritage and scientific values of the land. Exactly what form that will take, however, is still uncertain. Much of the Act will not come into force until 17 November 2022, by which time the regulations and various standards should be enacted.

What is certain, however, is that farmers on Crown pastoral land are going to be more restricted in what they can do without needing to apply for consent. As always, when consents are required, the process is slow and costly, so there will be an economic impact on farmers.

[1] Crown Pastoral Land Reform Act 2022, Schedule 1, s2

[2]  Ibid, Schedule 1, s4

[3]  Ibid, s5

DISCLAIMER: All the information published in Rural eSpeaking is true and accurate to the best of the authors’ knowledge. It should not be a substitute for legal advice. No liability is assumed by the authors or publisher for losses suffered by any person or organisation relying directly or indirectly on this newsletter. Views expressed are those of individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the view of Edmonds Judd. Articles appearing in Rural eSpeaking may be reproduced with prior approval from the editor and credit given to the source.
Copyright, NZ LAW Limited, 2022.     Editor: Adrienne Olsen.       E-mail: [email protected].       Ph: 029 286 3650

Trusts Act 2019

Comes into force early 2021

The Trusts Act 2019 will come into effect on 30 January 2021. Much of the Act updates or restates existing law.  However, there are a number of changes about which trustees and people with trusts should be aware.

Trustees’ duties

The Act contains ‘mandatory’ and ‘default’ duties for trustees. Mandatory duties cannot be modified or excluded by the trust deed so all trustees will have to observe them. Mandatory duties are: Continue reading

Trusts Act 2019

The new Trusts Act 2019 will come into effect on 30 January 2021. Much of the Act updates or restates law that exists already, either in statute or in case law. There are, however, a number of changes about which trustees and settlors should be aware.

The Act contains ‘mandatory’ and ‘default’ duties for trustees…

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The executor of your will

Making a good choice

Having an executor of your will is like having a manager of your affairs (your estate) after your death. Your executor is named in your will; it is his or her role to carry out the terms of your will. Many people have more than one executor; it spreads the load and it’s also good to have another executor to discuss things with.

Who do you choose?

You can choose anyone to be your executor, but they do need some special qualities. You should consider:

Age: you want them to have the energy, ability and maturity to deal with your affairs. Sometimes this can be a fine balance – if you have someone older there’s a risk they could die before you or could become incapable of fulfilling their duties. However, someone younger may not have sufficient life experience to cope with the role.

Temperament: dealing with an estate can be quite emotional. You want your executors to be calm, steady, decisive and with loads of common sense.

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Guest editorial: Kirsten Patterson,
CEO, Institute of Directors

The damage from governance failure can be profound, and can attract significant unwelcome media and public scrutiny. Focusing on the learnings from these cases is how we can get some real benefit and continuous improvement in corporate governance.


He tāngata – it is the people

Governance is, above all, about people. It’s a team game and, like any team, the board’s composition, and its culture and dynamic, are all critical to its effectiveness. Boards need a broad mix of skills and experience now and for the future. Individual attributes of directors are also highly relevant such as integrity, courage, judgement, emotional agility, energy and curiosity. Other factors relating to board composition include diversity, new membership and tenure. Getting the right mix and balance can be as much art as science. Putting time and thought into developing a skills matrix to determine the board’s needs is worth the investment.

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It can be an unpleasant surprise

Trustees and executors are not always entitled to reimbursement for their litigation costs.

While most trustees and executors will assume that costs incurred in the course of their trustee or executorship will be paid from the estate or trust, the recent decision in Courteney v Pratley[1] is an illustration of the perils that trustees or executors can face when they go to court.

Trustees and executors are in charge of the property of others. They are not expected to pay for their own expenses in doing so and, as such, are usually entitled to reimbursement of the costs they incur.

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Ageing Trustees

Know when to walk away

When Barack Obama was US president, he made an historic visit to Africa. One of the messages he repeated was that, under the US Constitution, he could only be president for eight years and this time limit is generally a good thing.

Obama was, of course, making an indirect reference to the tendency in some African countries for leaders to have themselves declared to be president for life. This, in Obama’s view, was not only unhealthy but also an excessive burden for one person to bear for too long.

Something similar could be said of some trustees. No one should want to be trustee for life. It’s useful for trustees to think about a succession plan: which trustees should we expect to retire or be replaced and who are the likely replacement trustees? Sometimes, likely future trustees are asked to sit in on trustee meetings to understand how the trust runs. (We have an article about the process for retiring trustees here.)

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Retiring as a Trustee?

There’s a process that should avoid any problems down the line

Many people agree to act as trustees of trusts set up by friends or relatives on the basis that they wish to help out or assist their friend or relative in some way. Eventually it comes time to retire as trustee for reasons such as age, the winding up of the trust or other changes of circumstance.

Retiring as a trustee is not as simple as it sounds and there are a number of potential liabilities that need to be covered off.

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Trusts Bill

Some key proposals

In late 2013, the Law Commission completed a report recommending that a new Trusts Act replace the Trustee Act 1956. The public consultation phase began last December with the release of the exposure draft Bill. It is intended that the new legislation will be the primary source of trust law in New Zealand. We outline below some key proposals.



Most trusts in New Zealand are established with a written trust deed or other document such as a Will. These are known as ‘express trusts.’ The Bill only applies to express trusts. Characteristics of express trusts are defined in the Bill as:

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