COVID-19 response

If you are looking for the latest legal information relating current Coronavirus laws in New Zealand, check out our Coronavirus and the Law section.

Communtity Law Manual | Māori land | The main legislation

Overview and key terms

The main legislation

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and its purpose

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, Preamble; s 17

Māori land is governed by Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (the Māori Land Act 1993), which recognises that land is taonga tuku iho, holding special significance for Māori.

The two key objectives of the Act are for Māori land to be retained as taonga tuku iho in the hands of its owners and their whānau, their hapū and their descendants, and to promote Māori land being used, developed and controlled by those Māori owners. To achieve those goals, the Act requires that almost all dealings with Māori land must be examined and approved by the Māori Land Court, including, for example, the selling or gifting of Māori land.

The Act’s focus on retaining Māori land in the hands of its owners and their descendants is a change from earlier laws, when there was a drive to individualise Māori customary ownership, and make it easier to sell land.

back to top

Check out Frequently Asked Questions and Answers related to COVID-19 on our website here.

Community Law Centres across Aotearoa are operating remotely. Please contact them via the phone number or email displayed on the Centre’s page.

Find the contact details of your nearest Community Law Centre here.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support