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Communtity Law Manual | Māori land | Rates and Māori land

Rates and Māori land

Overview

Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, s 81

Rates must be paid on all Māori land, 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 up to two hectares that’s used as an urupā (Māori burial ground)
  • an area of land up to two hectares that’s set aside as a Māori reservation 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
  • an area of Māori freehold land up to two hectares 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 councils can decide to remit (not collect) rates for particular Māori freehold land or to postpone collecting the rates for the land, if the council has adopted a policy on this and the particular land meets the criteria under the policy – for example, that it is unoccupied and earns no income.

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. The local council must instead go through the court to gain rates arrears.

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