Māori Land Court COVID-19 Level 3 Protocol

  1. This protocol will take effect when New Zealand moves to Level 3 of the Covid-19 Alert System. It should be read in conjunction with the Government’s Covid-19 Alert System Level 3 restrictions.
  2. The protocol also takes into account considerations of Māori Land Court staffing, both in terms of the space available in Court offices, and in terms of the number of our Court staff who are required to remain at home throughout Level 3 under the Alert System rules.
  3. At Level 3, all filing with the Māori Land Court must be made either electronically or by post. For reasons of public safety Māori Land Court offices will not be open to the public during Level 3, and documents will not be able to be received for filing in person.
  4. The Court will not hold in-person Court hearings during this level of the alert system.
  5. When we enter Level 3, Māori Land Court Judges will look at the Court applications that have been postponed while the country was at Level 4, and consider which of those applications can be dealt with on the papers. Where determination on the papers is possible, this is to be preferred. This consideration will be assisted by Court staff who are able to work from home or, where necessary and where appropriate safety precautions are in place, who can return to the office.
  6. For those matters that cannot be dealt with on the papers and require a hearing, then Judges and staff will investigate with parties whether it is appropriate for a hearing to take place either by telephone conference, audio-visual link (AVL) or another form of video conferencing.
  7. Applications that require a hearing and where the facts are likely to be contested will be adjourned until an in-person hearing can take place.
  8. In terms of Māori Appellate Court sittings, the same approach will be taken by the cora for current appeals.

Chief Judge Wilson Isaac
20 April 2020

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