New laws for resolving disputes about whenua Māori

Disputes involving whenua Māori are often delicate and complex. Going through a court process can sometimes make disputes worse.

 

Changes introduced by Te Ture Whenua Māori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Act 2020 update Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 to better support whānau to resolve their disputes about their land.

Te Ture Whenua Māori Act has been changed in the following areas. These changes come into force on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2021:

  1. Court processes can be time consuming and costly. The Act now enables whānau to use a free tikanga-based mediation service to resolve disputes in private and without a court hearing. Mediation, when entered into in good faith and in the right circumstances, can give the parties involved more control over decisions made about their land, lead to more sustainable solutions, agreeable to all involved, and as a consequence can preserve relationships between the parties.
  2. The Act now enables Māori Land Court judges to convene a judicial settlement conference, which will enable judges to assist parties to the dispute to settle a claim or an issue.
  3. To help deal with disputes in Court, the Act now allows the Māori Land Court to appoint experts in tikanga Māori and whakapapa as additional members of the Court in all proceedings concerning Māori land.

More information

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the law changes that relate to dispute resolution.

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The impact for whānau

Watch the video how the new mediation service will support whānau.

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