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Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust


"Ka anga atu toku kanohi ki to tatou maunga, no reira nei te awhina moku. No reira, Putauaki, e tu, e tu, tu mai ra koia nei matou, ko o mokopuna e tuohu atu nei ki a koe."

Waaka Vercoe


Caring for Putauaki

The purpose of the Trust is to ensure kaitiakitanga over our maunga tupuna continues.

Our focus therefore, is on restoration, afforestation and continued maintenance of these lands. Ensuring that the indigenous flora and fauna are given a place to grow strong and reslient is paramount.

  • Background
  • Story of Putauaki
  • Purpose
  • Vision, Goals & Values
  • Biodiversity

Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust

Maunga Putauaki and its surrounds is owned and managed by Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust ("the Trust").

The Trust was established in 2005, to receive Maunga Putauaki which was removed from the Tarawera No.1 Block at the time of the Tarawera Forest purchase in 2004.

Caring for the Mauri of Putauaki

The introduction of plantation pine and other pest plants and animals have had a detrimental impact on the mauri of Maunga Putauaki. This was always a concern for the Directors of Maori Investments Limited and is an issue the present Trustees have sought to address.

The purchase of the Tarawera Forest Valley by Tarawera Land Company in 2004 provided Maori Investments Limited with an opportunity to separate Maunga Putauaki from the main forest estate (Tarawera 1). Once surveying was complete, Putauaki was transferred to the Mt Putauaki Charitable Trust.

The Trust's name was subsequently changed by Deed of Variation to Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust on 26 November 2007. The Trustees agreed that the Trust's name should have application to other sites of cultural significance and in particular reference was made to Maungawhakamana, which is owned by Tarawera Land Company.

The Trust was registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005 on 30 June 2008. The registration number is CC39402.

The on-going management of Putauaki resides with the trustees of  Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust, while the power of appointment to the Trust rests with the Directors of Maori Investments Limited.

As of the 2014 financial year, Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust is now consolidated to the Group. It pays Maori Investments Limited a management fee for the administration and day to day operations.


Nga Maunga Kaitiaki Trust has identical governance as Maori Investments Limited, and the Trust Deed specifies that power of appointment resides with Maori Investments Limited.

Story of Putauaki


Stories handed down from generation to generation tell us that Putauaki was a strong and fierce mountain that lived at a place called Ko-Putauaki with his wife Tarawera. From their union they had a son, Whatuira.

As years went by Tarawera became increasingly moody and irritable and began looking towards Tongariro. Putauaki became frustrated with her moods and looked to the sea where he saw Whakaari (White Island), with her beautiful shimmering waters. The two would call to each other at night while Tarawera slept.

One night Putauaki could not contain himself any longer and decided to move to be with her.

According to Maori cosmology, it is said that a mountain can only move but once in a lifetime and then only at night. During this move he heard a soft whimper and turned to find his son next to him. He told Whatuira to return to his mother but the little maunga refused to listen to his father.

Before Putauaki could reach Whakaari, the sun began to rise and then as the first rays of light shone down on the land, both Putauaki and Whatuira were frozen, forever in time, together but now apart from Tarawera.

Tarawera awoke to find both her husband and son gone. Distraught, her tears filled the hollow where Putauaki once stood becoming Lake Tarawera, and flowed down the valley formed by her fleeing husband thereby creating the Tarawera River.

To this day Tarawera still cries and Whakaari still calls out for her lover, Putauaki, who remains forever frozen to the land overlooking the township of Kawerau.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                           .Lake Tarawera with view of Mt Tarawera

Purpose of the Trust

The pupose of the Trust is to ensure kaitiakitanga over our maunga continues. The focus is on restoration, afforestation and continued maintenance of these lands.

Our long term goal is to work towards returning Mt Putauaki to its pristine condition, for the benefit of the shareholders and their families, as well as for the benefit and enjoyment of the wider Aotearora New Zealand community.

In addition the ollowing details other key responsiblities of the Trust:

    • Funding the repair, maintenance, or any improvement of any structure upon Mt Putauaki.
    • Establishing recreational facilities on Mt Putauaki for public use and for such other uses as the trustees think fit.

    Cultural Recognition

    A key component of the Trust's purpose is funding the care and protection of waahi tapu and other sites of cultural significance on the land owned by Tarawera Land Company Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Settlor of the Trust, Maori investments Limited) which, are adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, or in any other way connected with Mt Putauaki or the other charitable purposes of the Trust.

    Other Charitable Purposes

    • Educational Purposes
    • Cultural Purposes
    • Social and Economic Purposes

Our Vision

Our vision is to restore the mauri of Putauaki through the protection, restoration, and enhancement of its indigenous plants and animals, and to explore opportunities that will provide a benefit to the shareholders of the Settlor and the wider New Zealand community.

Our Goals

  1. To restore the mauri of Putauaki
  2. To return Putauaki to its original pristine condition
  3. To care and protect waahi tapu and other sites of cultural significance
  4. To explore and undertake activities that will provide a cultural benefit to the Settlors shareholders and the wider New Zealand community
  5. To explore and undertake activities that will provide an economic return to the Trust, and will in turn provide a benefit to the Settlors shareholders and the wider New Zealand community
  6. To create and provide educational and social opportunities for the benefit of the Settlors and the wider New Zealand community

Our Values


The Trust will show leadership by committing resources to activities that align with its goals, and will ensure the Trust's values and aspirations underpin its decision-making process.


The Trust will focus on protecting, restoring and enhancing the indigenous forest and animal species, while also managing the exotic trees species located on Putauaki and its surrounds. Kaitiakitanga also recognises the need to protect and enhance Maori knowledge and practices in relation to the management of Putauaki's resources, and to ensure these resources are sustained for future generations.


The Trust will develop relationships with the Regional Council (Environment Bay of Plenty), iwi, hapu, businesses and its community, and will seek opportunities to work collaboratively for mutual benefit.


The Trust will endeavour to provide the Settlor's shareholders will opportunities to access educational and employment opportunities. The Trust will also look for ways to support local marae through facilitating activities that support Maori traditional cultural practices.

Five Year Environmental Programme

Caring for the Mauri of Putauaki

The aim of the Management Plan is about enhancing the mauri of Maunga Putauaki through the protection and restoration of its forest, and the reintroduction of indigenous plants and animals.


In conjunction with the Regional Council, the Trustees are looking to achieve this through the following kaupapa:

  • The restoration of indigenous vegetation
  • The management of wilding pines and other pest plants
  • Enhancing the habitat quality for bird species through the management of animal pests
  • Encouraging the regeneration of indigenous species; and
  • Improving the condition of the existing forest.

  • kiwi bird