Ngāti Tama Manawhenua ki Te Tau Ihu Trust was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and was formed to represent the Uri o Ngāti Tama who whakapapa to Te Tauihu o Te Waka-ā-Maui (top of the South Island). The Trust was established in 1993.
The Trust was established to receive, hold, manage and administer the Trust Fund for charitable purposes benefiting Ngāti Tama (Te Tauihu) whether it related to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter Trustees deemed beneficial to the community of Ngāti Tama ki Te Tauihu, and all the registered members of Ngāti Tama Manawhenua ki Te Tau Ihu Trust irrespective of where those members reside.
The Trust held the responsibility since 1993 for advancing Treaty of Waitangi claims on behalf of the Uri o Ngāti Tama ki Te Tau Ihu through their claim Wai 723. Legislation to settle these claims was passed by Parliament on Thursday 17 April 2014.
In 2005-06, the Trust underwent the Mandated Iwi Organisation (MIO) process with Te Ohu KaiMoana in order to receive its fish quota settlement. The Mandated Iwi Organisation status transferred to Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust in April 2014.