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Building on and occupying Māori land

Building on Māori land: Local council requirements

If you’re planning to build on Māori land there are a number of local council requirements you may have to meet:

  • resource consent
  • building consent
  • the right to build on the land, and
  • development contributions.

Your building may need resource consent, depending on the type of development and the land zoning. You should contact your local council’s duty planner at the start of your project to find out whether you need resource consent.

You’ll need building consent for your building. If you also need resource consent you may want to apply for your building consent at the same time so the applications can be processed together.

Right to build on the land

You’ll need to show the council that you have the right to build on the land, by providing them with evidence that you have either a licence to occupy, an occupation order or a hapū partition (see: “Occupation orders, leases, and occupation licences” and “Partitions (subdivisions) and other title improvements”).

Development contributions

If you receive approval to build you may be required to pay “development contributions” by your local council when your building consent is issued. These are fees the council charges to pay for the additional public infrastructure (such as water supply, stormwater drains and roads) that’s made necessary by new development projects such as building new houses or apartments or subdividing land.

For more information, contact your local council.

Note: The process for developing housing on multiple-owned Māori land can be complex, and some district councils provide a specific process for developing a papakāinga (building on ancestral land). For more information, contact your nearest Māori Land Court office or district council.

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Māori land

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online:

Māori Land Court

See the Māori Land Court website for application forms and information about Māori Land and the court’s role and processes.

Website: www.maorilandcourt.govt.nz
Download application forms online: www.maorilandcourt.govt.nz/our-application-process/come-in-apply-to-the-court/application-forms
Download information booklets online: www.maorilandcourt.govt.nz/about-mlc/publications
View the National Pānui online or subscribe online: www.maorilandcourt.govt.nz/national-panui

Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre

The Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre assists all Ngāi Tahu and all Māori living within the Ngāi Tahu rohe on Māori land law issues.

Website: www.ngaitahulaw.org.nz
Email: info@ngaitahulaw.org.nz
Phone: 0800 626 745

Pātaka Whenua

Pātaka Whenua is the new online customer portal that replaced Māori Land Online. This customer portal gives you the ability to submit an enquiry, access Māori land information and file a Court application.

Website:  www.customer.service.maorilandcourt.govt.nz
View the user guides on Pātaka Whenua online: www.māorilandcourt.govt.nz/contact-us/pātaka-whenua-our-new-online-portal

In the future you will be able to search for documents including Minutes and Orders. Until this is available online, you can access this information by emailing mlctewaharoa@justice.govt.nz or visiting your local Māori Land Court office.

Te Tumu Paeroa: Office of the Māori Trustee

Te Tumu Paeroa provide professional trustee services where the Māori Trustee has been appointed a role on a Māori Land Trust.

Website: www.tetumupaeroa.co.nz
Email: contact@tetumupaeroa.co.nz
Phone: 0800 943 682

Inland Revenue Department, Kaitakawaenga Māori service

Kaitakawaenga Māori provides support to any Māori individual or business wanting tax information, advice or training.

Website: www.ird.govt.nz/contactus/kaitakawaenga-maori

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