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Crown Forestry Trust Sets Direction

Crown Forestry Trust Sets Direction

The Trustees of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust met in Wellington today to determine the Trust’s strategic direction over the coming year and to confirm the appropriate organisational structure to deliver on that strategic goal.

In late 2003 Maori in regions where over 50% of the Crown licensed forests are situated achieved mandates which will enable them to enter into direct negotiations with the Crown, other Maori who are claimants to the Crown forest assets are also moving into the Waitangi Tribunal process.

The Trustees are aware that this progress makes viable the Trust’s aim to have completed its funding role of Maori claimants and disbursed its assets before the end of the decade.

The Trust recognises that the coming period will require new strategies that manage the support of claimants during the negotiation period whilst reducing the size and complexity of the Trust’s operations.

Over the coming six months the Trust will implement a change management programme aimed at:
Establishing transparent and well communicated criteria and application processes for claimants groups Strengthening relationships with both the Crown and Maori Strengthening its reporting arrangements to both the Crown and the Maori Appointors Completing the current phase of the LHAD project, designed to support Maori in historical research into ownership and legal status of land in the Central North Island since colonisation

The Trust has been undertaking a governance review since October 2003, designed to establish effective participation of all Trustees in the work of the Trust, and to support the work of the Chairman, Sir Graham Latimer.

It has also considered the future requirements of the Trust for its senior management team, as the process of redirecting and reducing the Trust’s activities develops over the coming years.

In that context the Trust has been in discussions with the Chief Executive since the Trustees’ 10 December 2003 meeting and Ms Waterreus has left the position of Chief Executive.

The Trust will be advertising for a new chief executive shortly, and in the interim has appointed Ben Dalton as acting chief executive.

Spokesperson for the Trust, Angela Foulkes, stated that the next six months would challenge the Trust to assist the smooth process of negotiations between Maori claimants and the Crown whilst ensuring that the Trust itself was appropriately structured for this next phase of the work.

Key to the success of this challenge would be maintaining the focus and energy of staff whilst the Trust changed its role, and achieving a clear understanding of its role among appointors, stakeholders and the community.

The Trust will be regularly reporting its progress towards that goal via its website and stakeholder meetings.

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