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Communtity Law Manual | Māori land | Partitioning (subdividing) Māori land

Partitions (subdivisions) and other title improvements

Partitioning (subdividing) Māori land

Can I cut my shares out of a block of Māori land?

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, s 289

Yes. One or more owners of Māori land can separate their shares from the rest and create a separate title. In Māori land law this is called a “partition”. It’s also known as a “subdivision”.

There are different types of partition:

  • full partition
  • hapū partition, and
  • combined partition.

Restrictions on partitioning

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, s 2884

Before it can order a partition, the Māori Land Court needs to be satisfied:

  • that the partitioning is necessary for the land to be effectively operated, developed and used, or
  • that it will give effect to a gift from one of the owners to a member of his or her whānau.

You’ll also need to make sure that the area to be partitioned doesn’t restrict access to the rest of the land and also that it won’t take all of the flat or most useable area of the land.

What are the requirements for a full partition?

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, s 301

A full partition requires subdivision consent from the district council under the Resource Management Act 1991. If the council consents to the partition, it may require a reserve contribution.

What is a reserve contribution?

This is where a part of the land is given to the district council, although sometimes money is contributed instead. A reserve contribution can include:

  • the strip of land formerly known as the Queen’s chain
  • a strip of land to provide for public access
  • land provided for recreational purposes
  • a monetary contribution toward recreational facilities.

What is a hapū partition?

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, s 3011

This is where the owners involved in the partition are members of the same hapū (sub-tribe). In these cases you don’t need to get subdivision consent for the partition from the district council.

Note: If you’re planning to build on the partitioned land, you’ll need to get consent from the council for this, so it’s best to discuss this with the council before the block is partitioned.

What is a combined partition?

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, s 298

This is a partition order that combines the interests of a group of owners in two or more neighbouring blocks into one pool to create a new title for the combined area of land.

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