An investigation into the governance, management and 2017 triennial elections of the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board has been launched.

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today she has directed an investigation into the affairs of the Ōpōtiki board under section 33 of the Māori Trust Boards Act 1955.

"In my capacity as Minister for Māori Development I have received a range of complaints and requests from a number of beneficiaries for an investigation into the board."

The initial request was lodged with the Minister's Office in December 2017 by Ngāti Ira hapu representatives Amber Rakuraku and Robyn Hata-Gage supported by fellow trust board representatives Tracy Hillier (Ngai Tamahaua) Gaylene Kohunui (Te Upokorehe) and Maora Edwards (Te Upokorehe).

Mahuta has appointed Michael Heron QC to investigate the facts in relation to the governance, management and 2017 triennial elections of the board.

The investigator will report back in August at which time the minister will consider the findings and assess the options.

"I am committed to having this investigation happen in a timely and efficient manner so that the people of Te Whakatōhea can find a resolution and are able to progress with their aspirations for the future," Mahuta said.