Welcome to Palmerston North Reserve Trust


Origins of Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust

The origin Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust began in 1839 when the New Zealand Company arrived in Port Nicholson and commenced a process of allocating land holdings to new settlers. Maori objected to the allocation of the Lowry Block as the land was unfit for use. 

In May 1864, Lowry Block Section 1 was sold and a year later Lowry Block Section 4 was sold by direction of Governor Grey. Sale proceeds of 450 pounds were paid into the Native Trust account.

In 1866-67 during Grey's tenure as Governor, the Palmerston North reserve lands were bought to replace Lowry Block 1 and 4, using funds from the Native Reserves accounts. The 18 sections, containing 71 acres, 2 roods in total, were located about half a mile from what is now The Square in Palmerston North. 

From 1867 to 1873 the Palmerston North lands were left seemingly unadministered. They were first leased in 1874.

Lists of Waiwhetu Maori drawn up first by Heaphy in 1875 and then by the Public Trustee in 1887 were the subject of contentioin for many decades. 

The reserves were administered by the Public Trustee under the Native Reserves Act 1882, although there was no formal declaration of trust in relation to these reserves until 1887. Responsibility transferred to the Native Trustee in 1921. In 1937, to end any doubts about the status of the resreves, Section 13 of the Native Purposes Act 1937 declared the lands to have been native resreves within the meaning of the the Native Reserves Act 1882 and thus Maori land.

In 1920, the Public Trustee reported that the 18 sections of Palmerston North reserves were all leased. 

Between 1910 and 1913, 8 acres for roading were taken which reduced the area from 71 acress, 2 roods to 63 acres, 29 perches. The area was furthe reduced by a total of 20 acres, 7 perches by takings under the Public Works Act in 1917 and 1941 (by the Palmerston North Borough Council for a recreation ground and by the Crown for a technical high school site respectively).

Then 3 acres, 3 roods and 3 perches were sold under the 1964 freeholding legislation and a further 2 acres, 1 rood, 26.5 perches under the 1967 freeholding provisions.

The result was that in 1975 a total of 36 acres, 3 roods, 33 perches remained.

In 1975 a Commission of Inquiry recommended that the freeholding of resreve land should come to an end and that a body corporate of owners should administer the Palmerston North reserves.

In 1979 the Palmerston North Maori Reserve Trust was established by the Maori Land Court as an incorporation of owners to administer the Palmerston North Maori Reserve lands.