Maintaining Māori land titles

A Māori land title is an order of the Māori Land Court which:

  • describes the characteristics of the land
  • describes any interests or restrictions over the land, such as roadways or a right of way
  • defines the owners of the land and their shareholding (at the time of the order)
  • is supported by a survey or sketch plan of the block.

Our title becomes the legal instrument that creates a land block. Under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (our Act), all new titles (or changes to existing titles) are forwarded to LINZ for registration, and where necessary, the issue of new Computer Freehold or Interest Register titles under the Land Transfer Act 1952.

We maintain three types of record in respect of Māori land titles:

Our records will only be as current as the block itself. If the land is no longer Māori land, or it has become part of another block or been transferred as general land, we will have no further records after the point it ceased to be Māori land.

Our records are held in two formats:

  • Physical record (up to 1999)
  • Electronic record (post 1999)

Prior to the introduction of our electronic system in 1999, all records relating to Māori land was recorded on paper by each registry office and no central source of information was available.

These historical records are still held by the Registrar at each office and are available for public inspection.

Records affecting land created after 1999 are recorded in the Māori Land Information System (MLIS) and in 2001 and 2002 we captured part of the historical records as images in the MLIS.

You can access these electronic and the imaged historical records at any our offices.

Find out more about our records

Contact us for more assistance 

Back to top

Ownership schedules

Each title has an associated ownership schedule which records the manner in which shares have been transferred from one person to another person or persons.

Ownership schedules would normally record:

  • the name of the owner and their shareholding
  • the minute book reference or authority under which the transfer is taking place
  • the date the transfer was approved
  • the name(s) and shareholding of the person(s) receiving those shares.

We routinely use our ownership schedules to trace how you have become an owner in land. This is why we ask for whakapapa or genealogy to establish your connection to an earlier owner.

Ownership schedules are part of our permanent court record. The physical records are available for inspection at the office in which they are located or, if captured in our electronic system, at any one of our offices.

Find out more about our records

Contact us for more assistance 

Back to top

Memorial schedules

Each title has an associated memorial schedule which records certain activities that owners or users of the land, where required to, have been approved or noted by us.

Memorial schedules often recorded:

  • court orders authorising or prohibiting activity on the land
  • leases over the land
  • mortgages or charges over the land
  • any subdivision of the land
  • transfers of any subdivided land
  • status changes
  • Gazette Notices
  • Trust or Incorporation information.

The number or type of entry on a memorial schedule is reflective of the law and regulations that were in force at that time.

The type of activity required to be noted or confirmed has been reduced significantly under our Act.

Memorial schedules are part of our permanent court record. The physical records are available for inspection at the office in which they are located or, if captured in our electronic system, at any one of our offices.

Find out more about our records

Contact us for more assistance

Back to top

Title notice records

Title notice records are copies of any records we have noted on any memorial schedule. Whilst the memorials are a simple notation of an activity, the documentation to support that notation is still retained in our records.

Title notice records are part of our permanent court record. The physical records are available for inspection at the office in which they are located or, if captured in our electronic system, at any one of our offices.

Find out more about our records

Contact us for more assistance

Back to top

This page was last updated: