Incapacity – Welfare Guardianship and Property Management Orders


If someone has lost capacity without signing enduring powers of attorney, it may be necessary to apply to the Family Court for orders appointing somebody else to manage their affairs.  These appointees are known as welfare guardians and property managers, and the appointments are made under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (“the PPPRA”).

Welfare guardians and property managers play an essential role in protecting the interests of those unable to manage their affairs independently (known as the “subject person”).

Welfare guardians are appointed to make decisions regarding the subject person’s personal care and welfare, when they are deemed incapable due to age, illness, or disability.  A welfare guardian’s responsibilities include making decisions about healthcare, accommodation, and day-to-day activities to ensure the subject person’s well-being. They must act in the subject person’s best interests and consider their wishes, values, and beliefs.

On the other hand, property managers are appointed to manage the subject person’s financial affairs. This includes paying bills, managing investments, and dealing with property matters. Like welfare guardians, property managers must act in the person’s best interests and comply with the PPPRA.




The PPPRA sets out the criteria for appointing welfare guardians and property managers, ensuring accountability and protection for those under their care. It emphasises the importance of respecting the wishes and dignity of the subject person, highlighting the significance of these roles upholding the rights and well-being of vulnerable individuals in New Zealand.

It is important that those being appointed as either welfare guardian or property manager understand their obligations, and meet any review and reporting obligations moving forwards.


For More Information

For any advice in respect of applications to the Family Court under the PPPRA, or compliance with welfare guardianship and property management orders, please contact our Rotorua family law team.

 Our Rotorua family law experts:


See more of our family law articles here.


Property Management Orders - visual examples of financial matters - house car