Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
Maori Land Act 1993

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Māori Development-Te Puni Kōkiri
  • not the latest version

Reprint as at 30 January 2021

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

Maori Land Act 1993

Public Act
1993 No 4
Date of assent
21 March 1993
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by Te Puni Kōkiri.


1Short Title and commencement
2Interpretation of Act generally
3Interpretation of Maori terms [Repealed]
4ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
5Act to bind the Crown
6Maori Land Court to continue
7Appointment of Judges
7AAJudge not to undertake other employment or hold other office
7ABProtocol relating to activities of Judges
7AJudges act on full-time basis but may be authorised to act part-time
8Chief Judge and deputy
8ADelegation to Deputy Chief Judge
9Appointment of temporary Judges
10Former Judges
11Certificate by Chief Judge and 1 other Judge prerequisite
12Tenure of office
12AJudges to have immunities of High Court Judges
13Salaries and allowances of Judges
14Administration of court
15Court districts
16Seal of court
17General objectives
18General jurisdiction of court
19Jurisdiction in respect of injunctions
20Jurisdiction in actions for recovery of land
21Power of court to grant relief against forfeiture
22Power of court to grant relief against refusal to grant renewal
22APower of court to grant specific performance of leases of Maori freehold land
23Power of court to authorise entry for erecting or repairing buildings, etc
24Power of court to grant relief if building is on wrong land or encroachment exists
24APowers of court relating to contracts privity and contractual remedies
24BPower to award interest on debt or damages
25Power of court to make order to restore effect of lost instruments of alienation
26Jurisdiction of court under Fencing Act 1978
26BAdvisory jurisdiction of court
26CJurisdiction of court to make determinations
26DPrinciples applying to exercise of jurisdiction in relation to Maori Fisheries Act 2004
26EProcedure of court in its advisory jurisdiction
26FProcedure of court in making determinations
26GPowers of court if application referred under section 26F(3)(b)
26HAppointment of mediator
26IJudge appointed as mediator
26JConduct of mediation
26KSuccessful mediation
26LUnsuccessful mediation
26MOrders and interim orders
26NProceedings where additional members appointed
26PAdvisory jurisdiction of court
26QJurisdiction of court to make determinations
26RPrinciples applying to exercise of jurisdiction in relation to Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Act 2004
26SProcedure of court in its advisory jurisdiction
26TProcedure of court in making determinations
26UPowers of court if application referred under section 26T(3)(b)
26VAppointment of mediator
26WJudge appointed as mediator
26XConduct of mediation
26YSuccessful mediation
26ZUnsuccessful mediation
26ZAOrders and interim orders
26ZBProceedings where additional members appointed
27Governor-General may confer special jurisdiction
28Additional members for purposes of court’s special jurisdiction
29Reference to court for inquiry
30Maori Land Court’s jurisdiction to advise on or determine representation of Maori groups
30AIntent of sections
30AReview of representatives [Repealed]
30BPowers of Judge in addressing requests for advice
30CPowers of Judge in addressing applications for determination
30DAppointment of mediator
30EConduct of mediation
30FSuccessful mediation
30GUnsuccessful mediation
30IReview of advice or determination
30JDefinition of persons affected
31Additional members for purposes of inquiry
32Additional members in relation to matter of tikanga Maori
33Additional members in relation to matter of representation
34Oath to be taken by additional member
35Fees and allowances
36Quorum and decisions
37Exercise of jurisdiction generally
38Powers of court may be exercised by any Judge
39Powers of Registrars
40Power of Judge to refer matter to Registrar
41Orders to be pronounced in open court, and minute recorded
42Commencement of orders
44Chief Judge may correct mistakes and omissions
45Applications for exercise of special powers
46Powers of Chief Judge in respect of applications
47Administrative and consequential matters
48Matters already finalised or pending
48ADeputy Chief Judge may exercise special powers of Chief Judge
50Maori Appellate Court to continue
51Constitution of court
52Officers of Maori Land Court to be officers of Maori Appellate Court
54Successive appeals in respect of same matter
55Appeals to be by way of rehearing
56Powers of court on appeal
57Decision of majority to be decision of court
58Appeals from Maori Land Court
58AFurther appeal to Court of Appeal from Maori Appellate Court
58BDirect appeal to Supreme Court from Maori Appellate Court in exceptional circumstances
59Appeals from provisional determinations
60Maori Land Court may state case for Maori Appellate Court
61High Court may state case for Maori Appellate Court
62Additional members with knowledge and experience in tikanga Maori
63Quorum and decision of court
64Commencement of orders
66Conduct of proceedings generally
67Powers of Judge to call conference and give directions
68Parties and witnesses may use Maori language
69Evidence in proceedings
70Representation of parties, etc
71Court may amend proceedings
72Case may be stated for High Court
73Orders may be made subject to conditions
74Orders not invalid for want of form, etc
75Orders nominally in favour of deceased persons
76Persons bound by orders affecting land
77Orders affecting Maori land conclusive after 10 years
78Exemptions from stamp duty [Repealed]
79Orders as to costs
80Taxation of costs
81Enforcement of orders for payment of money
82Charging orders
83Appointment of receiver to enforce charges, etc
84Court may order repayment out of money held by trustee, etc
85Enforcement by High Court of injunctions
86Amendment of orders, warrants, etc
87Amendment of names of land owners in court records and titles
88Amendment or cancellation of orders not to affect acquired rights
89Failure to comply with summons, etc
90Application of Contempt of Court Act 2019
91Obstructing officers of court
92Constitution of Rules Committee
93Fees and travelling allowances
94Principal function of Rules Committee
95Rules of court
97Practice notes
98Maori Land Court Special Aid Fund
98AInformation regarding reserved judgments
98BRecusal guidelines
98CJudge may make order restricting commencement or continuation of proceeding
98DGrounds for making section 98C order
98ETerms of section 98C order
98FProcedure and appeals relating to section 98C orders
98GReferences to Judge in sections 98C to 98F
100Application of this Part
101General law to apply subject to this Part
102Jurisdiction of High Court continued
103Jurisdiction of High Court where administration granted by Maori Land Court
104Liability of Maori land for payment of debts of estate
105Duty payable on succession to Maori land [Repealed]
106Special provisions relating to testamentary promises and family protection
107Special provisions relating to status of children, etc
108Disposition by will
109Succession to Maori freehold land on intestacy
109ASuccession to ota whakanoho on intestacy
110Succession on intestacy to property other than Maori land
111Interests in General land of deceased Maori
112Transmission of Maori land to administrator
113Maori Land Court to determine beneficial entitlements to Maori land
114Succession to Maori land on intestacy where no person primarily entitled
115Court may make provision for whangai
116Court may make special provision relating to income
117Vesting in persons beneficially entitled following grant of administration
118Vesting in persons beneficially entitled where no grant of administration
118ACircumstances when certain assets and payments must be held in trust
118BCircumstances when certain transfers and payments must be held in trust
119Court’s powers in relation to whanau and putea trusts
119AVesting of ota whakanoho
120Special succession fee where death occurred before 1 April 1968
121Special provisions relating to succession to shares in Maori incorporations
122Application of Part
123Orders affecting title to Maori freehold land to be registered
124Special provisions where insufficient survey plan
125Alterations in registration of title
125AAlteration to land appellation
126No registration without prior confirmation
127Registrar of court to record ownership
128Court may issue declaratory consolidated order
129All land to have particular status for purposes of Act
130Certain status not to change except in limited circumstances
131Court may determine status of land
132Change from Maori customary land to Maori freehold land by vesting order
133Change from General land or General land owned by Maori to Maori freehold land by status order
134Change to Maori freehold land by vesting order on change of ownership
135Change from Maori land to General land by status order
136Power to change status of Maori land owned by not more than 10 persons
137Power to change status of Maori land
138Alternative or additional power of court
139Registration of vesting orders where land formerly Maori customary land
140Registration of other orders
141Effect of vesting orders upon registration
142Effect of status orders upon registration
143Other land deemed Maori freehold land for succession purposes in certain circumstances
144Maori customary land deemed Crown land for certain purposes
145Maori customary land inalienable
146Alienation of Maori freehold land
147Alienation of whole or part of block
147ARight of first refusal for sale or gift
148Alienation of undivided interests
149Alienation of equitable interests
150Manner of alienation of interests in Maori freehold land
150AAlienation by trustees
150BAlienation by Maori incorporation
150CAlienation by other owners
150DLife interests
151Application for confirmation
152Court to grant confirmation if satisfied of certain matters
153Court’s general discretion [Repealed]
154Grounds on which court may refuse confirmation [Repealed]
155Manner of confirmation
156Effect of confirmation
157Execution of instrument of alienation to give effect to resolution
158Special valuation required except in special cases
159Proceeds of alienation to be paid to Māori Trustee, court appointed agent, or trustees
160Certain instruments require only certificate of confirmation by Registrar
161Certain instruments require only noting by Registrar [Repealed]
162Failure to act on resolution
163Jurisdiction of High Court to rectify instruments
164Transfer of land or undivided interest by court vesting orders
165Vesting of interest held in representative capacity
166Other powers of court to make vesting orders preserved
167Interests to remain subject to existing charges after vesting
168Liability of vesting orders to conveyance duty [Repealed]
169Application of this Part
170Owners and assembled owners defined
171Sale of timber, etc, to constitute alienation for purposes of this Part
172Matters that may be dealt with by assembled owners
173Calling of meetings
174Notice of meetings
175Confirmation required
176Court may confirm resolution passed at informal family gathering
177Security for calling meeting to reconsider rejected proposal
178Court may review meeting
180Purpose of this Part
181Notice to owners of Maori land may be given to Registrar in certain cases
182Action of court on receipt of notice
183Court may appoint agent of owners for purposes of notices, etc
184Provisions applicable where meeting of owners to be summoned
185Appointment of agents for purposes of alienation, etc
186Order of appointment
187Powers of agents
188Service of notice on agents
189Court may call for account
190Costs of agents
191Termination of agency
193Application of provisions of Part 11
194Leases not to contain option to purchase
195Māori Trustee to exercise certain powers and duties if no other agent appointed
196Execution of renewals
197Appointment of valuers for purposes of lease
198Enforcement of covenants of lease
199Assignment or sublease of lease
200Execution of instruments
201Valuations for revision of rent
202New rent payable pending objections
203Apportionment of rent
204Service of notices
205Special savings provision
206Application of sections 207 to 209
207Compensation to be ascertained by valuation
208Notice of valuation and right of objection
209Record of improvements, etc
211Maori Land Court to have exclusive jurisdiction
212Putea trusts in respect of land interests
213Interests of beneficiaries of putea trust
214Whanau trusts
215Ahu whenua trusts
216Whenua topu trusts
217Kai tiaki trusts
218Maori community purposes
219Trust order
220Vesting order
220ARegistration of land in name of trust or tipuna
221Power of court to amalgamate trusts
222Appointment of trustees
223General functions of responsible trustees
224Special provisions where advisory trustee appointed
225Special provisions where custodian trustee appointed
226General powers of trustees
227Trustees may act by majority
227AInterested trustees
228Trustees’ powers of alienation [Repealed]
229Court may authorise new ventures
230Keeping of accounts
231Review of trusts
232Reports of trustees of kai tiaki trusts
233Reports required where Māori Trustee trustee of kai tiaki trust
234Kai tiaki trusts to be reviewed periodically
235Trusts not subject to limit on duration
236Application of sections 237 to 245
237Jurisdiction of court generally
238Enforcement of obligations of trust
239Addition, reduction, and replacement of trustees
240Removal of trustee
241Termination of trust
242Orders for payment of money held in trust
243Acquisition of land by trustees
244Variation of trust
245Power of court to approve charitable trust
247Owners may be incorporated
248Terms of order
249Court to fix total number of shares
250Effect of order
251Inclusion in incorporation of owners of additional Maori land
252Incorporations may be amalgamated
253Capacity and powers of incorporation
253APower to impose limitations or restrictions on powers of incorporation
254Incorporation’s powers of alienation [Repealed]
255Certain instruments require noting by Registrar [Repealed]
256Acquisition of land by incorporation
257Allocation of land to shareholders
258Power to declare charitable trust
259Application of revenues
260Nature of shares in incorporation
261Equitable interests not to be separately dealt with
262Shareholders not personally liable
263Incorporation to have share register
264Method of transfer of shares
265Special rules relating to share registration in certain cases
266Procedure where court makes order relating to ownership of shares
267Unclaimed dividends
268Maori incorporations to have constitution
269Committee of management
270Manner in which powers are to be exercised
271Effect of exercise of powers
272Qualification, disqualification, and removal of members
273Election of chairman of committee and appointment of secretary
274Expenses and remuneration of members of committee
274AInterested members
275Conduct of meetings of shareholders
276Accounting records to be kept
276AFinancial statements must be prepared
276BFinancial statements must be filed
277Appointment and duties of auditor
278Appointment of share valuer
278AAdjustment of shareholding
279Register of Maori incorporations
280Investigation of incorporation’s affairs
281Power of court to require officers to attend to explain non-compliance with statutory requirements
282Winding up of incorporation
283Disposal of land on winding up of incorporation
286Purpose of this Part
287Jurisdiction of courts
288Matters to be considered
289Partition orders
290Modes of partition
291Discretionary powers of court in making partitions
292Allotment of interests on partition
293Power to award additional land as compensation for improvements, etc
294Saving of interests charged on partitioned land
295Court may apportion rights and obligations
296Dwelling sites for Maori
297Partition orders may be made in respect of land held in trust
298Partition of combined areas
299Registration of partition orders
300Plan approved by court prerequisite to partition of Maori land
301Compliance with provisions of Resource Management Act 1991 relating to subdivisions
302Contributions for reserve purposes
303Subdivision consent and conditions of subdivision consent
304Power to impose restrictions in respect of other partitions
305Reserves contributions, roads, etc [Repealed]
306Cancellation of partition orders
307Amalgamation orders
308Aggregation orders
309Orders to specify relative interests of owners
310Court may make exchange orders
311Land and interests that may be exchanged
312Conditions precedent to making of exchange orders
313Effect of exchange order
314Money payable by way of equality of exchange to be charge on land
315Court may create easements
315ACourt may cancel or vary easements
316Court may lay out roadways
317Required consents
318Effect of laying out roadway
319Compensation in respect of roadway
320Roadways may be declared roads or streets
321Land that has been used but not set apart as a road may be declared a road or street
322Court may cancel roadways
323Powers of court on cancellation of roadway
324Unused road or street over Maori land may be stopped by court
325Court may make vesting orders for lands comprised in roads or streets stopped otherwise than under foregoing provisions
326Alienation of land to include alienation of interest in roadway giving access to that land
326AMeaning of certain terms
326BReasonable access may be granted in cases of landlocked Maori land
326CConditions and other matters
326DAdditional provisions relating to orders under sections 326B or 326C
327Part 21 of Local Government Act 1974 modified in its application to Maori land [Repealed]
328Occupation orders
329Matters to be considered
330Power to amend or cancel occupation order
330AReview of occupation orders
332Power to require surveys
333Power of court to make charging orders on land in respect of costs of survey
334Interest on survey charges
335Power of Minister of Lands to remit survey charges
336Contribution from owners in respect of surveys
337Survey notices
338Maori reservations for communal purposes
338ARegulations relating to trustees of Maori reservations
339Court may consider proposal for Maori reservation on application of Minister
340Maori reservation may be held for common use and benefit of people of New Zealand
341Further provisions relating to Maori reservation for marae or meeting place
342Protection of Maori land against execution for debt
343Maori land available in bankruptcy
344Co-owners of Maori land not bound by Limitation Act 2010 or other limitation enactments
345Presumptions as to Maori freehold land held by 2 or more owners
346Prevention of waste on Maori land
347Orders in Council and Proclamations affecting title to be registered
348Savings of effect of Land Titles Protection Act 1908
349Declaratory Judgments Act 1908 not affected
350Trustees of persons under disability
351Periodic review of trusts constituted under section 438 of Maori Affairs Act 1953
352Representation of owners of Maori land
353Existing trusts of Maori land not affected
354Existing trusts to continue as ahu whenua trusts
355Provision for completion of sales and subdivisions
356Part 9 not to apply to Maori reserves
357Maori incorporations in existence at commencement of Act
358Land acquired by Maori incorporation before commencement of Act
358ATransitional provisions in relation to objects of Maori incorporations
359Provisions of certain enactments not affected by this Act
360Application of Limitation Act 1950 to Maori customary land [Repealed]
361Limitation of actions in relation to Maori customary land [Repealed]
362Amendments and repeals
Reprint notes

An Act to reform the laws relating to Maori land in accordance with the principles set out in the Preamble