Submissions are currently being accepted on the Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill.

Of particular interest to Māori land owners, the Bill seeks to increase the jurisdiction of the Māori Land Court.

Changes proposed include giving the Māori Land Court:

  • Greater power to deal with claims made under the Family Protection Act 1955.  Under the proposed changes, any challenges to a will involving Māori land must be made through the Māori Land Court.

  • Power to deal with testamentary promise claims involving Māori land. Under the proposed changes, applications could be made to the Māori Land Court to uphold promises relating to Māori land.

  • Power to deal with applications and make orders for mortgages involving Māori land. Under the proposed changes, the Māori Land Court will have the power to make orders to sell the land by way of a mortgagee sale.

  • Increased flexibility in relation to partition of Māori land. Under the proposed changes, the Māori Land Court will no longer need to set aside an esplanade reserve or create an esplanade strip to vest in a territorial authority when partitioning land adjacent to a body of water, lake or river.

It has been foreshadowed that a further set of changes, addressing rating of Māori land and the public works legislation, is planned within the next year.

Submissions from the public on the current Bill, which will be considered by the Māori Affairs Select Committee, are due by Tuesday 26 November 2019.

Peter Johnston
Māori Issues Lawyer