Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on 19 September 2019, which could soon see the most significant changes to Māori land law in over 20 years.
The Bill proposes several changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993, such as:
- To enable “simple and uncontested” succession applications to be determined (with associated Orders made) by a Registrar of the Māori Land Court instead of proceeding to a Court hearing.
- To introduce the tikanga of the relevant iwi or hapū as a determinative factor when deciding whether whāngai children are eligible to succeed, which acknowledges the importance of tikanga Māori to matters involving Māori land.
- To introduce a tikanga Māori dispute resolution process to help resolve disagreements and conflicts about Māori land in accordance with the tikanga and values of the relevant hapū or whānau.
- To offer parties the option to have their matter or an issue referred to mediation as long as the Māori Land Court has jurisdiction over that matter or issue.
- To broaden the jurisdiction of The Māori Land Court to hear legal matters under other Acts (such as the Family Protection Act 1955, the Government Roading Powers Act 1989, The Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949, the Local Government Act 1974 and the Property Law Act 2007) when Māori land is involved.
Any amendments will likely commence on 1 October 2020. If anyone is interested in discussing the Bill or if you have any questions about how the proposed changes may affect you or your whānau, please contact Miaana Walden from our Te tira hau ture(Maori legal services) team.