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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 3 (July 1, 1929)

A Great State Institution

page 50

A Great State Institution

“The organisation of the Public Trust Office,” said the Prime Minister in a recent announcement, “is Dominion wide, and the system of decentralisation of business continued to work successfully. The great growth of the business necessitates an early extension of the system, and steps are now being taken in that direction. Beneficiaries greatly appreciate the keeping of their accounts locally and the conduct of the administration of the estates in which they are interested by District Public Trustees. They realise that their interests are carefully safeguarded by a systematic and thorough audit and review by inspectors responsible to the Public Trustee, and that all important steps in the administration of the estates are directed by the Public Trustee.

“It has been necessary during the year to enlarge several of the branch offices to meet the requirements of a rapidly extending business, and this notwithstanding the policy in the past when erecting premises of making provision for future growth as far as it is practicable to do so. In Dunedin, where the conditions had become unsatisfactory alike to clients and the staff, it has been necessary to buy a site and to erect a modern building to provide facilities for the proper conduct of the local business, which has increased substantially in recent years.

“Continued effort had been directed to economical management commensurate with complete service to beneficiaries and the protection of their interests, and notwithstanding the great volume of new business which the office handled during the year the ratio of expenses had been kept at a low figure.

“The net profits for the year,” said the Prime Minister, “were £29,467, and in view of the extensive concessions made to clients in recent years this could be regarded as satisfactory—particularly when it was considered that the full effect of the most recent concessions had been felt in the year just closed. It was not the policy of the office to seek large profits, but as conditions permitted, to share with clients and beneficiaries of the estates under administration, the financial benefits accruing from a successful conduct of the business. It was necessary, of course, to set aside yearly contributions to the reserve funds to ensure the financial stability of the office, and to protect the public funds from being called upon to meet any liability under the guarantee which the State provided, but in each of the immediately preceding years it has been found practicable to make some concession to clients and estates—many of them of a substantial nature. As far as conditions would permit, this would continue to be the policy, and the Public Trustee anticipated that the increasing business would make further concessions possible in the near future.”