Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill

Targeted changes are being made to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. These changes will better support Māori land owners to connect with their whenua.

Matuaokore Ahuwhenua Trustee, Frances Stokes and relation Jayden Hokianga on their whenua just north of Tūranganui ā-Kiwa/Gisborne. Photo by Josie McClutchie.


About the proposed amendments

Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament on 19 September 2019. You can find a copy of the Bill here.

The proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 recognise that the protection of Māori land remains a priority but that changes to the legislation will make it easier for Māori land owners to engage with their whenua.

The main initiatives in the Bill are focused on improving the succession process and providing a new dispute resolution process. Additional changes will support the efficient operation of the Māori Land Court and enhance the opportunities for Māori to develop papakāinga on their whenua.

The targeted amendments are part of the Whenua Māori Programme that aims to support Māori land owners and whānau to realise their aspirations for their whenua.

Succeeding to Māori land

Under the current Te Ture Whenua Maori legislation, all succession applications are decided by Māori Land Court Judges. The proposed legislative changes will enable simple and uncontested succession applications to be decided by a registrar of the Māori Land Court without having to go through a court hearing. 

Dispute Resolution

Currently, the only option for whānau to resolve disputes over their whenua is through the court.  The proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act will allow whānau to work with a mediator to come to a resolution, incorporating tikanga Māori where appropriate. 

For more information

To get a fuller understanding of the Bill from a policy perspective, you can read:

Targeted amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

This booklet summarises the proposed legislative changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 to encourage your feedback.


Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes

Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta has given Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill its First Reading in Parliament. The Bill proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court.



Frequently asked questions

You can also read frequently asked questions and answers about the bill.


Departmental Disclosure Statement

The Departmental Disclosure Statement is a formal document that sets out background information on the work done by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Justice to develop this Bill including commentary on any provisions that are significant, unusual, or deserving of special comment.


Regulatory Impact Statement

The Regulatory Impact Statement provides a high-level summary of the problems that are being addressed in this Bill, the consultation undertaken, and the proposed arrangements for the implementation and review of the new legislation.



The public commentary on the Bill

The Cabinet paper shows the original proposal to make these amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. It also includes the decision by Cabinet to proceed with the legislative changes.


Have your say?

Please tell us what you like about the proposed changes, and what you think could be improved. What are your personal experiences of managing your whenua? What has been straightforward, and what have you found challenging or complicated?

You can send your submission to the Māori Affairs Select Committee by:

Post - two copies required

Address your submission to:

Māori Affairs Select Committee
Select Committee Services
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

Online via a webform

On the Parliament website:-  https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission

Oral submission

The select committee may decide to hear from submitters who have asked to make an oral submission either face to face, by phone, or by video conference.

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