Post-settlement governance entities (PSGEs) are an outcome of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. Their role is to hold, manage and be responsible for the collective assets received on behalf of claimant groups, most often represented by iwi. However, many PSGEs serve wider purposes, including social, cultural, environmental and other iwi-defined purposes. This article seeks to answer the following research question: What factors influence the design and operation of PSGEs? Through analysing literature and data collected from the experiences of three PSGEs, we find that challenges PSGEs tend to encounter are not a result of their design. Instead, they are attributed to their operationalisation— that is, their management. We argue that there is more to their management than what is currently understood, and we seek here to contribute meaningfully to knowledge of the design and operation of PSGEs as contemporary forms of Māori organisation.