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New Zealand Trustees Association

Issue 138 September 2017

NZ Estate & Trust Bulletin

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In This Issue-
138.1  Trusts Bill - a long gestation for good reason: Chapman Tripp
138.2  Disclosure of Trust information to Beneficiaries: Wynn Williams
138.3  Trustee and Board Positions Available
138.4  NZ Trustees Subsidised Annual Financial Review
Also Features...
  •    Bills Before Parliament seeking Submissions 

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                                                                                                   Trust Management


138.1  Trusts Bill - a long gestation for good reason: Chapman Tripp



The Trusts Bill began with a Law Commission report in November 2010 and finally made it into the House in August 2017 – a long gestation but with good reason.

Trust law is hard to get right because of the need for flexibility and – in this case – because of the ambition of the task being taken on. Inevitably, the Bill is still a work in progress and further refinement will be required.

The policy objectives behind the Bill-

The Bill aims to make trust law more accessible to everyday users and trusts easier to administer by:

  • setting out the core principles relating to express trusts, including:
    • essential features
    • mandatory and default trustee duties
    • requirements for record keeping
    • rights of beneficiaries to information
    • abolition of the rule against perpetuities, and
    • substituting a bright line maximum duration limit of 125 years
  • repealing and replacing the Trustee Act 1956 while updating many of its provisions, in particular, those relating to trustee powers and to the rules around the use of delegates and agents.

The legislative challenges-

Express trusts are used across the economy in a wide range of circumstances - from trustees who are largely unpaid volunteers to highly resourced professionals with regular access to expert advice, and from unsophisticated beneficiaries reliant on trustee decision-making to the beneficiary who is an investor with highly prescribed rights under the trust and/or other investment related legislation...

By: Arthur Young, Frank McLaughlin, Andrew Woods and Phillippa Wilkie



137.2  Disclosure of Trust information to Beneficiaries: Wynn Williams


Image result for wynn williams logo


The Supreme Court in Erceg v Erceg [2017] NZSC 28 has confirmed the court's important role in supervising trustee decisions to not disclose information to beneficiaries.  In clarifying the scope of the court's supervisory role, this decision should assist beneficiaries in holding trustees to account.

Erceg replaces the Privy Council decision of Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Ltd [2003] UKPC 26 as the leading case in this area. 
Is the court limited to reviewing the trustee's discretion?
The most interesting aspect of the decision is the Supreme Court's comments on the scope of the court's powers.
The Court of Appeal held that the court's supervisory jurisdiction is limited to reviewing the exercise of discretion by the trustee. Therefore, the court could only intervene in limited circumstances, where the trustee erred in law or principle, overlooked a relevant point, took into account an irrelevant point or made a decision that was plainly wrong.
The Supreme Court firmly disagreed.  It explained that the court must exercise its own judgment as to whether disclosure ought to be made, after a careful assessment of a wide range of considerations.
Relevant factors to consider-
The Court saw the starting point as being a trustee's obligation to administer the trust in accordance with the trust deed and the duty to account to beneficiaries.  This is the basis on which a beneficiary will seek disclosure of trust documentation. 
The Supreme Court set out a non-exclusive list of matters to consider – many of which were listed in Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Ltd:...

By Annie Cao



138.3  Trustee and Board Positions available

The Trustees Association provides letters of support for NZTA Registered Trustees to be appointed to Board positions.


Central Lakes Trust
Central Lakes region - paid
Closes 4/10/2017
appoint assured
Variety - the Children's Charity
Closes 06/10/17
Aspire Canterbury
Closes 29/09/17
Dance Therapy NZ
Auckland (or can travel there)
Closes 29/09/17
Hospice West Auckland
Auckland preferred
Closes 09/10/17
Central Districts Cricket Association
New Zealand
Closes 29/09/17
Waikato Institute for Leisure & Sport Studies Trust
Closes 16/10/17
Community Legal Services South Trust
South Auckland
Closes 29/09/17
Howick and Pakuranga Community Houses Inc
Pakuranga, Howick area
Closes 30/09/17
The Therapy Box
Closes 30/09/17



138.4 NZTA Subsidised Annual Financial Review


Thank you to Registered Charities supporting the NZTA Annual Financial Review.



Through the charitable purposes of NZTA we offer upto 50% subsidised Annual Financial Review for small to medium registered charities.


This fully on-line service starts from $375 excl., is tailored for where the charity has opted for a review over an audit of their Financial Accounts. 


Receive further information or make an enquiry here..


* Bills before Parliament seeking Submissions
Name of bill Bill no. Stage Last activity Select Committee
296-1 1 10 August 2017
280-1 SC 15 August 2017 Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
Courts Matters Bill

Bill - government

285-1 SC 15 August 2017 Justice and Electoral Committee
274-1 SC 07 July 2017 Justice and Electoral Committee
283-1 1 29 June 2017
284-1 SC 22 August 2017 Transport and Industrial Relations Committee
225-2 2 15 August 2017 Transport and Industrial Relations Committee
147-3 RA 16 August 2017 Law and Order Committee
247-2 2 16 August 2017 Justice and Electoral Committee
205-2 3 09 August 2017 Justice and Electoral Committee
291-1 1 03 August 2017
135-2 CH 16 August 2017 Primary Production Committee
77-1 CH 26 July 2017 Government Administration Committee
279-1 SC 15 August 2017
236-2 2 25 July 2017 Māori Affairs Committee
144-2 CH 29 June 2017 Local Government and Environment Committee
200-2 CH 16 August 2017 Transport and Industrial Relations Committee
299-1 1 15 August 2017
174-2 CH 09 August 2017 Māori Affairs Committee
262-1 1 28 June 2017
295-1 SC 15 August 2017
276-1 SC 07 July 2017 Māori Affairs Committee
289-1 1 01 August 2017
181-2 3 26 July 2017 Justice and Electoral Committee
Racing Amendment Bill

Bill - government

288-1 SC 15 August 2017 Primary Production Committee
132-1 2 26 July 2017 Local Government and Environment Committee
258-1 SC 04 July 2017
281-1 1 29 June 2017
297-1 SC 17 August 2017 Social Services Committee
260-2 2 16 August 2017 Regulations Review Committee
298-1 1 09 August 2017
126-2 CH 05 July 2017 Māori Affairs Committee
293-1 SC 16 August 2017 Commerce Committee
278-1 SC 09 August 2017 Local Government and Environment Committee
286-1 SC 15 August 2017 Justice and Electoral Committee
Trusts Bill

Bill - government

290-1 1 01 August 2017
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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of items and article content, the onus is upon the reader to satisfy their needs. This publication is not intended as legal advice or guidance. The content and views expressed are not necessarily those held by NZTA or the NZTA membership.