Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Act 2020 passed
Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Act 2020 passed on 24 July 2020 and was given Royal assent on 6 August 2020. The new legislation comes into effect on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2021 and represents the most significant changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act since 1993.
These changes will better support Māori land owners to connect with, and make decisions about, their whenua. The new laws introduce a number of initiatives, including:
- simple and uncontested succession applications can now be heard by a Registrar
- a new, free tikanga-based dispute resolution service
- clarity around the processes for succession of whāngai
- making it easier for whānau to use their Māori land for housing.
These new and improved services and ways of dealing with matters in the Māori Land Court will come into effect from 9 February 2021, the first working day after Waitangi Day.
A number of other changes have been made to the Act. They include extending the role of the Māori Land Court, allowing for occupation orders to be granted to beneficiaries of a whānau trust and making it easier for whānau to establish Māori incorporations.
The changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act are a key part of the Whenua Māori Programme, which is jointly led by the Ministry of Justice and Te Puni Kōkiri. The Programme is a four-year commitment of funding by the Government to support Māori land owners and their whānau to connect with, govern and realise their aspirations for their whenua.
To find out what the changes to the Act mean for you, visit Te Puni Kōkiri website(external link).
To read the new Amendment Act, visit the New Zealand Legislation website(external link).