The Māori Land Court awarded the Owhaoko B&D blocks to Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Whiti and Ngāti Whiti Tama in 1888. Previously, certain Owhaoko A, B and D blocks were gifted to the Crown for use by Māori returned service men in 1917 however the land blocks were returned to the owners by 1972 as they were not suitable for settlement or farming.
From 1974, the land blocks were administered and controlled by the Tuwharetoa Māori Trust Board as the responsible Trustee with minimal inclusion of the actual landowners. This situation prompted a series of hui that took place from 1993 to 1995, with the result being the establishment of the Owhaoko B&D Trust, in February 1996.
The purpose given to the Trust is to “... provide for the use, management and alienation of the land and any other property or assets of the trust to the best advantage of the beneficial owners...”.
From its inception, the Trust has continued the practice of recreational hunting and fishing through a recreational land use agreement with Heli-Sika which has generated an income stream and enabled controlled use of the blocks.
In February 2005, the Trust entered into a Nga Whenua Rahui Kawenata with the Minister of Conservation which not only serves to protect indigenous fauna and flora but provided a substantial consideration payment.
Over the years, the Trust has progressively established a sound operational base which has seen the appointment of a contracted Administrator and an Executive General Manager.
In recent years, the Trust has undergone change to increase its number of activities. Catalysts for change have been:
- moving away from leasing its lands to a helicopter company and instead, engaging the helicopter company to provide helicopter services
- entering into a three year Agreement with Westervelt, the owner of Poronui Station and Lodge to investigate employment and business opportunities on Trust land
- engaging a Manager to manage the Trust affairs and to implement provisions of the Westervelt Agreement.
It is the objective of the Trustees to keep landowners, stakeholders, and interested members of the public fully informed about what the trust is doing, and where it is going.