“A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is.” – Wikipedia
“What the entity is”, needs further clarification. While our constitution is part of who we are, we trust that more importantly, what we become is expressed in a culture that each of us creates through our daily actions within the framework of the constitution. The constitution is our starting point that guides us forward, including its ability to change as we move forward.
The constitution consists of a set of interlinking legal entities and defined relationships between them. The legal entities, their roles, and the relationships between each of the entities are outlined below.
Roles and Legal Entities
Ownership of the land, and governance of land and resource use
The Kotare Community Land Trust (KCLT) owns all land. The use of the land and its assets are governed by the Kotare Village Purpose statement and Mission as described in the ‘About Us’ page. The Trustees are appointed within the terms of the Trust Deed, to make all decisions on behalf of the Trust. The main roles of the KCLT are:
- Stewardship and guardianship of the land.
- Entering into tenure agreements with settlers and protecting tenure rights.
- Entering into land and resource management agreements.
- Making policy decisions on land and resource use.
- Making policy decisions on village development.
- Directing research to support all of the above.
Land and resources can be used by individuals, or organisations, either by use of leasehold agreements, licenses, or other agreements (including share farming). Individuals have a long-term leasehold tenure of their house site, and own the improvements on it. Conditions of use are detailed in the lease agreement, and cover such things as; organic management of the environment, natural building materials, heat dynamics of housing, tree heights adjacent to neighbours, pets, etc.
Community Development, Relationships and Governance
The Kotare Village Association represents all the settler leaseholders and others who may have been invited to become members of the Association (e.g. long-term renters) They do this through an appointed committee, and regular member meetings. The main roles of the association are:
- To manage the housing clusters’ commons areas immediately around the house sections.
- To nurture community development within the village, including meetings, celebrations, social agreements, conflict transformation, etc.
- To develop relationships with our wider community, on behalf of residents
The Kotare Community Land Trust is largely dedicated to stewardship/ governance role. It is not intended that it will get involved directly in management of its assets or commercial activities. Management of assets and development of commercial activities is the role of a separate development company – Kotare Commons Ltd (KC), that is a multi-stakeholder co-operative structure. The company holds several roles including:
- Maintaining the current assets of the KCLT.
- Developing new assets for the KCLT. (infrastructure and strategic economic assets)
- Managing the marketing and sales of leaseholds for the KCLT.
- Developing commercial ventures, that will either be managed by the company or lease or licensed to other individuals or organisations.
- Managing admin of KCLT.
- Managing selected components of the Koanga Institute.
- Procuring and managing investment capital.
Education Research and Charitable Activities
The Koanga Institute Inc. is a Charitable Trust, registered with the Charities Commission (ie it is exempt from income tax). It has the same vision as the village, and its charitable status makes it an ideal vehicle for research and educational activities supported by public subscriptions and various funding grants. It is intended that it will continue to expand its role as educational campus and research centre, and its involvement in nationwide outreach programs.