A recent decision of the Māori Land Court has considered the circumstances when it might be possible to partition, or divide, Māori land so that the Trust could establish a papakāinga (housing development) on the land.

In this case, the court found that the overall opinion of the owners and shareholders was in favour of the application as those who supported the application held almost 50% of the shares. The partition of the land was held to have minimal effect on the interests of the remaining shareholders and owners.

It was held that the development of papakāinga housing would be the best overall use of the land as it would mean that hapū members who were desperately in need of accommodation would be able to access housing. The Court was also satisfied that the development was necessary to assist the wider whānau to move out of substandard housing conditions and to allow them to reconnect with their whenua.   

When considering building on Māori freehold land, or seeking a partition order, it is important to seek professional advice to get the best outcome for you and your whānau.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.