The Māori Land Court (Te Kooti Whenua Māori) is set up under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and has jurisdiction to hear matters relating to Māori land. Just less that five per cent of land in New Zealand, about 1.3 million hectares, is designated as Māori freehold land. The special bond between Māori people and land is recognised by the Māori Land Court, and the records held by this court form an invaluable part of the whakapapa of all Māori.
Issues relating to multiple ownership of land and the laws relating to succession of ownership mean Māori land transactions can be complex. The Māori Land Court deals with these transactions in a traditional and appropriate manner. For example, court sittings may be conducted in te reo Māori and may begin and end with a karakia.
The Māori Land Court has a Chief Judge and a Deputy Chief Judge as well as resident judges in most Māori Land Court districts.
The Ministry of Justice administers the Māori Land Court and the Minister of Māori Affairs deals with legislative matters.
- Registration Project underway – In conjunction with Land Information New Zealand, the Maori Land Court has embarked on a five year project to register all existing Maori Freehold land titles and orders under the Land Transfer Act 1952.
- Te Pouwhenua – Te Pouwhenua is a bi-monthly publication designed to provide a greater range of information about the Maori Land Court, its services, court sittings and related issues.
- Upcoming Maori Land Court sittings 2009 (PDF 280KB)
- Maori Land Court Panui – the list of Maori Land Court sittings for the coming month with details of venues, dates and times.
- Notice board – notice of hui and land meetings being held around Aotearoa. If you would like to advertise your trust or land owners hui on this web site, click here.
- Vacancies & New Appointments – vacant positions in the Maori Land Court and recent appointments.