Simple and uncontested succession and trust applications

On 6 February 2021, changes to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 came into effect to simplify the legal processes for owning, occupying and using Māori land.

This includes changes to how the Māori Land Court will deal with ‘simple and uncontested’ succession and trust applications.

Historically, succession and trust applications were heard by a Māori Land Court judge. Now, if your succession or trust application is assessed to be ‘simple and uncontested’, then it can be decided by a Māori Land Court registrar without a court sitting (unless you request to be heard by a judge in a court sitting).  This can save you the time and travel costs associated with attending a court sitting.

‘Simple’ applications are straight-forward, with no complicating factors.

Your application will be considered ‘uncontested’ when:

  • it has been notified according to Māori Land Court Rules; and
  • it has been published in the Māori Land Court’s National Pānui; and
  • no one has objected to the application.

If at any stage your application is considered to not be ‘simple and uncontested’ a registrar will refer it to a judge to be heard.

The application process has not changed. Apply by completing the appropriate application form. Forms are available at Māori Land Court offices or you can download a form from our website.

Find your form

It is important to include all relevant information in your application, including evidence you have notified those materially affected by your application.

If you prefer your application be decided in court by a judge, tick that option on the application form.

Find out more

Read the Simple and uncontested succession applications factsheet [PDF, 58 KB]

Read the Legislative changes affecting trusts factsheet [PDF, 70 KB]