Beneficiary Code of Conduct

OVERVIEW

The Ngati Tuwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) Settlement Trust (“NTST”) is governed by a Trust Deed dated 30 May 2004 (“NTST Trust Deed”).

NTST is a trust established for the benefit of Ngati Tuwharetoa as defined in the NTST Trust Deed.

NTST represents the collective interests of all Ngati Tuwharetoa.

The actions of individual Beneficiaries can impact on the way in which Ngati Tuwharetoa and its representative body, NTST, are perceived by third parties.

Privileges and responsibility go hand in hand. If Beneficiaries wish to have the privileges which come with being part of Ngati Tuwharetoa, then they must also accept they in turn have individual responsibilities to the Ngati Tuwharetoa.

 

PURPOSE OF CODE OF CONDUCT

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is:

  1. to ensure that the principles and values of Ngati Tuwharetoa are upheld;
  2. to ensure that all Beneficiaries are treated with dignity and respect; and
  3. to promote and protect the reputation of Ngati Tuwharetoa.
  4.  

VALID DEBATE

Discussion and debate are essential to ensure good decision making. NTST is mandated to maintain and grow assets received under a Deed of Settlement between Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau and the Crown. It is therefore important that Adult Registered Beneficiaries of Ngati Tuwharetoa are able to express views and discuss matters of importance in relation to the operation of NTST.

While discussion and debate are essential, it is also important to ensure that such discussion and debate occurs in an appropriate environment and within appropriate boundaries so that views from all of Ngati Tuwharetoa can be heard, not just the views of the few who shout the loudest.

 

BENEFICIARY CONDUCT

Each Beneficiary agrees to meet the following standards in relation to their conduct.

PROCESS WHERE A BREACH OF CODE OF CONDUCT IS ALLEGED

If the trustees of NTST consider that a Beneficiary has, or may have, breached this Code of Conduct, then the following process shall be followed.

If the Trustees consider that the breach or alleged breach is a matter which may merit further or more formal consideration, then the Trustees may (but are not obliged to) make initial enquires of any party who may have knowledge of the breach or alleged breach to determine whether the matter should be subject to further consideration. 

If the breach or alleged breach is of a minor nature, the Trustees may:

  1. decide to not pursue the matter; or
  2. determine the matter with the least formality as the breach permits, without the need to follow the formal process set out below.

If the breach or alledged breach is of a material or significant nature, the Trustees shall follow the process set out below.

  1. The Trustees shall advise the Beneficiary, of the basis on which the Trustees consider that the Beneficiary has or may have breached this Code of Conduct, and inviting the Beneficiary to provide their response.
  2. The Beneficiary shall provide any response which he or she wishes to make to the Trustees within 10 working days.
  3. The Trustees may seek further information in respect of the complaint from other parties who were present at the time of the possible breach.
  4. The Trustees may refer the complaint, or parts of it, to kaumatua for advice. 
  5. When considering the breach or alleged breach, the Trustees must consider any response provided by the Beneficiary and may also consider all other information which they deem relevant including:
    • the nature of the breach
    • the circumstances in which the breach occurred
    • whether or not the breach was deliberate
    • the consequences of the breach
    • the effect of the breach on other Beneficiaries 
    • the manner in which such behaviour has been treated on prior occasions 
  6. The Trustees shall:
    • determine whether or not there has been a breach of this Code of Conduct;
    • if there has been a breach, what sanction, if any, should be imposed; and
    • advise the Beneficiary of the Trustee’s decision.

If any Trustee has a personal involvement in the behaviour which is the subject of the complaint (such as if abusive language complained of were directed to a Trustee), then that Trustee shall not participate in the investigation of the complaint or in the making of the decision.

If the behaviour which is the subject of the complaint was directed at all Trustees, then the matter shall be decided by all of the Trustees who shall investigate the complaint and make the decision as to any sanctions which are to be imposed.

 

SANCTIONS

It is important that any sanction on a Beneficiary is appropriate to the level of behaviour which occurred and it is acknowledged that Trustees are not obliged to apply any sanction.

If a sanction is to be applied, then the Trustees may apply any sanction which they consider to be appropriate in the particular circumstances.

Sanctions may include (by way of example only) such things as:

It is acknowledged that any sanction which suspends the rights of a Beneficiary or revokes status as an Adult Registered Beneficiary would only be acceptable in the case of a very serious breach, where there has been continual ongoing breaches, or where a Beneficiary has demonstrated a blatant disregard for this Code of Conduct such that the Trustees consider it inevitable that the Beneficiary will continue to breach this Code of Conduct.

The process set out in this Code of Conduct, and any sanction which may be imposed under this Code of Conduct shall not prevent the matter being referred to the Police. 

 

ADOPTION OF CODE OF CONDUCT

This code of conduct was adopted by NTST on 2 May 2013.

Confirmed as a true copy of the code of conduct adopted by resolution of the trustees of NTST on 2 May 2013.

Elaine August
Trust Manager
Ngati Tuwharetoa (BOP) Settlement Trust