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Taonga Māori

Rates and Māori land

Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, s 91

Rates must be paid on all Māori land, and all General land owned by Māori, unless the land comes under one of the exceptions in the rates legislation, or the local council decides to remit (not collect) or postpone collection of rates for the land.

Land that’s not rateable under the ratings legislation

Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, s 116; Schedule 1, Part 1, clauses 10–14

Rates don’t have to be paid for the following types of land:

  • Māori customary land
  • an area of land that’s used as an urupā (Māori burial ground)
  • an area of land that’s set aside for a marae or meeting place
  • land that’s been set aside as a Māori reservation for the common use and benefit of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand (but homes on reserved land can still be rated)
  • an area of Māori freehold land on which a meeting house has been built, and
  • Māori freehold land that has been specifically exempted from rates by an Order in Council, on the recommendation of the Māori Land Court.

Local councils can remit or postpone collection of rates

Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, ss 114, 115 Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021

Local councils can decide to:

  • forgive rates that have not been paid on Māori land
  • stop rates from being charged on most land that is not being used
  • create a process for remitting rates on Māori land that is being developed
  • cause land blocks that used to be a single block to be treated as a single block again when applying rates
  • change the way rates are charged where there are multiple houses on one block of land to reduce the rates payable for low-income home owners
  • remove rates from marae land.

You’ll need to contact the local council responsible for your lands to find out their rating policy for Māori land.

Note: Māori freehold land can’t be included in a rates sale (but General land owned by Māori may be). The local council must instead go through the court to gain rates arrears.

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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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