Accessing our records

MLC records room GisborneYou can access our records through our Māori Land Online website or at an office of the court.

Please note: Other than Māori Land Online, our records are not currently available on the internet.

On this page:

Māori Land Online website

You can start your search for Māori land on our Māori Land Online website which provides a summary of current ownership, block and trust information relating to Māori land. Our site includes maps and plots the location of Māori land across New Zealand.

Go to Māori Land Online (external link)

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Access at at office of the court

Our offices are open to the public between 10am and 4pm on normal week days.

You don’t need an appointment to visit us.

The Māori Land Information System (MLIS) – Electronic Records

The Māori Land Information System is our primary case management, land registry and document management system. You can use this system when you visit us. The system allows court staff to:

  • process applications
  • access a range of historic and current records which have been captured electronically
  • create and maintain the minutes and orders of the Court
  • create and maintain existing Māori land ownership and titles.

We have public access kiosks available at each of our offices where you can:

  • search current and historic ownership of Māori land
  • search for current and historic minutes, orders and other documents that have been captured in our system which relate to Māori land.

Contact us for more assistance

Personal visit to a Registry Office

Physical records associated with a particular minute book, activity, land block or land area can only be viewed in person at the office in which they are located.

We encourage you to contact us before you visit so we can:

  • work through your request with you
  • determine which office may hold the records you are seeking
  • check whether the records you are requesting are onsite
  • make appropriate arrangements for viewing of our records.

Depending on the nature of your request, the type and number of documents you have requested, we may not be able to provide you with all the information you are seeking.

Again, it is important that you discuss your request with our staff who will be able to work with you and provide you with more detail about whether or not we will be able to meet your request.

Find out what types of record you can view and what is restricted

Contact us for more assistance

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Copying our records

Where available, copies of any part of our record may be supplied to you by mail or email upon payment of the following fees:

  • 20c for each black and white page
  • 40c for each colour page

Our fees are set by the Māori Land Court Fees Regulations 2013 and must be paid before we can supply you with copies.

We appreciate that in some circumstances payment of a fee may not be practical or that you may find it difficult to pay this fee. This may be due to your financial circumstances or because of the special nature of your request.

Talk to our staff when you make your request. They may be able to reduce or waive (cancel) the fee.

All requests are dealt with on a case by case basis.

Contact us for more assistance

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Not all records are available online

We recognise that users of our service are seeking greater access to our records through the internet – in particular our historic records and minute books. We launched our Māori Land Online site to provide a snap shot of current Māori land information.

However we also recognise that our record contains a significant amount of whakapapa, or genealogy, which has been captured as a result of applications and kōrero, or oral testimony, given as part of proceedings in our Court.

The kōrero in our records reflect the different wishes and aspirations of individual whānau. In many cases this is a straight forward discussion and identification of descendants of a particular person, but in some cases that kōrero has also included disputed evidence about whakapapa.

At the time we began to digitise our historic record we undertook wide consultation with Māori land owners across the country to discuss the digitisation of our records and as a result, the potential to make our records more available to other agencies and online.

Participants raised serious concerns around access to any electronic records, in particular, having whakapapa information available online.

The kōrero and whakapapa captured in our records was considered intrinsically tapu, or sacred, and was a taonga for individual whānau associated with that kōrero not one that should be made more publically available than what it already was.

While there was general agreement to make information more readily available, there was also a clear expectation that we protect and preserve any whakapapa information we hold in our record to ensure it was not used in a manner contrary to Māori cultural values or for commercial purposes.

As a result our record is not currently available online.

You may still access our record at any one of our registry offices.

Contact us for more assistance

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