The Māori Appellate Court has annulled a recent order of the Māori Land Court confirming a gift of shares in a Māori land block between whanaunga (relatives), and directed that a new hearing be held.

The donor had gifted her Māori land shares to her cousin who was a member of the preferred class of alienees (“preferred class”) and informed the Māori Land Court that her children supported the making of the gift.

However, notice of the application was not provided to the children of the donor and new evidence presented to the Māori Appellate Court indicated that the children did not support the making of the gift.  The Māori Appellate Court considered that the new evidence was relevant and should be tested by the Māori Land Court at a new hearing.

Donors wishing to gift shares in Māori land must comply with the requirements laid out under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.  This includes ensuring that proper notice is provided and the appropriate support is obtained.  This applies even where the gift is made to a member of the preferred class.