Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust administer eighty-five Maori Land blocks - these land blocks are situated in the Maori Land District of Aotea - some have major conservation areas in accordance with principles of Kaitiakitanga of protecting Lake Taupo, Lake Rotoaira and associated rivers and tributaries.
The land blocks of LRFT are divided into three categories:
First Schedule Blocks
These blocks were included in the Trust for afforestation. Most were suitable for afforestation and were leased to the Crown and planted. They are now gradually being released from that lease.
While some blocks and parts of blocks proved unsuitable for afforestation, together they contributed to the viability and environmental management of Lake Rotoaira Forest. As the first rotation is completed in the forest, the First Schedule blocks are being re-assessed.
These blocks are the source of most of the Trust’s income and their owners participate in income distributions.
Second Schedule Blocks
These 12 Second Schedule blocks, situated around Lake Rotoaira, were vested in the Trustees for settlement of compensation and could not be leased or developed in forestry. The Trustees therefore ensure that the local and regional councils remit rates on these lands.
Third Schedule Blocks
The Third Schedule blocks are south of Turangi on either side of the Desert Road. They were vested in the Trust for the purpose of land exchange negotiations with the Crown in the 1980s, which came to nothing. All these blocks receive rates remissions. Rangipo North 6C produces income from a quarry.
Any proposals for development of Second or Third Schedule Blocks will be assessed by the Trustees under their land use policy and referred to the owners of the block concerned.
The Maori Land Court maintains all Maori Land ownership records.
Purchased Crown Enclave
The Trust has acquired four parcels of Crown-owned land, together known as the Crown Enclaves, which are adjacent to LRFT lands. The lands became available through the Treaty of Waitangi Deferred Settlement Property process during 2013-14 and are a mixture of forestry, quarry and reserve lands. Discussions are under way with Ngati Hikairo about returning to them one of the blocks, which contains the waahi tapu known as the Huimako Cliffs.
This block was leased by Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust from the Waione Incoporation, sub-leased to the Crown and planted. In accordance with these arrangements, the Waione Incorporation has received its distribution proportionate to its land area in the forest. The Trust is pleased to have concluded discussions with the Waione Incorporation, who has this year agreed to extend their lease to 2050 to allow a full second rotation forest on the land and to have a right of renewal arrangement for a further rotation.