The latest version of Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill had its first reading in Parliament recently and has been referred to the Māori Affairs Select Committee.

Submissions on the Bill are due to the Māori Affairs Select Committee by 23 June 2016.

The Bill will repeal and replace the current Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. The Select Committee submissions process is the last opportunity to make submissions on the Bill which, if passed, will completely overhaul the law on Māori land including ownership and governance.

Māori landowners and governance board members should be aware of the changes in the Bill, including new provisions:

  • Establishing limitations on who can be gifted land under a will.
  • Requiring the establishment of whānau trusts to receive Māori freehold land or interests where the deceased person does not leave a will in certain circumstances.
  • Relating to governance body decision-making powers and obligations when administering Māori freehold land.
  • Empowering the Māori Land Court to disqualify individual governors of Māori governance bodies for breach of new statutory obligations.
  • That Māori incorporations may retain their existing share registers so long as they notify the new Māori Land Service of any change in the register.
  • Enabling Māori incorporations to rely on the new Māori Land Register, instead of their existing share registers, as the record of their shareholders.
  • For Māori incorporations who hold investment land before the Bill commences, allowing them to apply to the Court for an order authorising them to hold the land as an investment.

We are available to assist with advice on the Bill and preparation of your Select Committee submissions.

You can contact Peter by email here.