Owners of Māori freehold land can separate their shares in the land and create a separate title through a process known as a ‘partition’ under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.

There are three types of partition under the Act; hapū partition, combined partition and full partition.

Hapū partition is where the land is being transferred between existing owners who are all members of the hapū.

Combined partition is for subdivision of parcels of general and Māori land.

A full partition is required where the application involves the transfer of Māori land outside the hapū. A full partition is subject to the normal subdivision provisions of the Resource Management Act 1993, and requires consent from the local authority.

Before partitioning is approved, the Māori Land Court needs to be satisfied that the action is necessary in order for the land to be effectively used, or that it will give effect to a gift from one of the owners to a member of his or her whanau.

The area to be partitioned must not restrict access to the rest of the land or take too much of the flat or useable parts of the land.

Where land ownership will transfer out of the hapū, the local Council may require an esplanade reserve.

The applicant is required to file an application with the Māori Land Court if they wish to apply for a partition.

The applicant has to detail in that application how the partition will benefit the Block, and also whether the owners have had adequate opportunity to consider the proposal by attaching their written consent or minutes of a meeting of the owners.

For a full partition, The applicant must provide:

  •        A registered valuation of the land before and after the proposed partition;
  •        A plan of the area to be partitioned including any rivers or lakes and the position of any easements or roadways;
  •        Details of the proposed ownership apportionment after partition;
  •        Consent of owners / trustees / committee of management of Māori Incorporation or Minutes of a meeting of the owners detailing support for the proposal;
  •        Copy of the certificate of title;
  •        Local Authority Approval to subdivide which includes a survey plan with any proposed easements;
  •        Consent of lessee; and
  •        Copy of current roll valuation.

As partitioning Māori freehold land can be a complicated and technical procedure, it is important to consult with a legal professional who can guide you through this process, and ensure the relevant documents are prepared with accuracy.


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