Partitions, amalgamations, aggregations or subdivision

Commonly referred to as Title Improvement, our Act provides a number of ways through which the title to Māori land can be brought together or divided among its owners.

When considering an application for title improvement our Act requires we consider the:

  • opinions of the other owners, shareholders and trustees
  • effect of the proposal on the owners (if you aren’t the sole owner) or shareholders (in the case of a Māori Incorporation)
  • best overall use and development of the land.

You must ensure that you have the consent of any trustees or Māori Incorporation and have sufficient support from the other owners and shareholders.

See our occupying Māori land guide

Changes to your title can be in one of the following ways:

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Partitions

A partition is the division of the land between its owners to create new titles or blocks. The resulting size, shape and shareholding in partitioned land are dependent on the:

  • agreement from the owners or a demonstrated sufficient degree of support
  • value of the land and the shares (before partition)
  • value of the new blocks (after partition)
  • access arrangements to each new blocks
  • distribution of shares and shareholding in the new blocks.

You will need to engage a licensed surveyor to provide a survey plan of the new blocks to support your partition.

There are three types of partition:

Hapū partition

A hapū partition results in the new land blocks being distributed among the existing owners and will not result in any land being gifted or sold outside of the existing owners.

The benefits of a hapū partition include:

  • No consent is required under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • No requirement for land contributions for roads, reserves or public use or access.

Any normal land use consents would still be required after partition, such as building consents.

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Combined partition

A combined partition can:

  • include either Māori land, General land or both
  • include land regardless of its location (it doesn’t need to be located next to each other).

A combined partition takes multiple pieces of land, regardless of size, shape, location or status, and combines them into one block – we can then re-divide that land among the existing owners.

The benefits of a combined partition include:

  • the ability to make boundary adjustments to existing land blocks, regardless of status
  • general land can be included in the partition
  • no consent is required under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • no requirement for land contributions for roads, reserves or public use or access.

Normal land use consents would still be required after partition, such as building consents.

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Full partition

A full partition results in some, or all, of the new blocks being transferred by way of gift or sale outside of the existing ownership group and hapū associated with the land.

Full partitions are subject to the Resource Management Act 1991 and require a proper consent process to be undertaken which includes the need for council consents to be obtained. They may also require reserve contributions to be made which could include:

  • public access in the form of a ‘Queens Chain’ along waterways
  • reserves for future roading needs
  • recreational purposes.

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Amalgamations

An amalgamation is a special type of partition which takes one or more Māori land blocks and merges them together to create one new block with common ownership.

Much like a partition, the resulting shareholding in an amalgamated block is dependent on the:

  • agreement or sufficient degree of support from the owners
  • value of the each land block and the shares (before amalgamation)
  • value of the new block (after amalgamation)
  • access arrangements to the new block
  • new shareholding,  based on the value of the pre-amalgamation shares, in the new block.

The shares in the resulting amalgamated block are determined by the value of the shares you hold in each of the pre-amalgamation blocks. This is why the value of each pre-amalgamation block is important.

For example:
You are a shareholder in 2 of the 3 blocks in a proposed amalgamation.

You have 10 shares out of 100 (10%) in block 1 and you have 2 shares out of 25 (8%) in block 2.

Block 1 has a pre-amalgamation value of $100,000 which means your shares equate to 10% of that value or $10,000

Block 2 has a pre-amalgamation value of $25,000 which means your shares equate to 8% of that value or $2000

Block 3 has a pre-amalgamation value of $200,000, but you have no shares in block 3.

The new amalgamated block, once created, will have 325,000 shares (being the total value of blocks 1, 2 and 3).

In this example your shareholding in the new block will be 12,000 (being the total value of your shares in blocks 1 and 2) out of 325,000 shares.

The benefits of an amalgamation are:

  • The creation of one large block of land with common ownership
  • Enable the land to be used and managed as one block rather than many
  • No consent is required under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • No requirement for land contributions for roads, reserves or public use or access.

Normal land use consents would still be required after amalgamation, such as building consents.

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Aggregations

Unlike other forms of title improvement, an aggregation does not make changes to the title to land. It instead creates a common ownership list across one or more blocks without amalgamating or dividing those blocks.

Much like an amalgamation, the resulting shareholding is dependent on the:

  • agreement or sufficient degree of support from the owners
  • value of each block and shares (before aggregation)
  • new shareholding, based on the value of the pre-aggregation shares, in the new aggregation.

The shareholders in the aggregated list will become shareholders in all blocks which form part of the aggregation. This is why the value of shares in each pre-aggregated block is important.

For example:
You are a shareholder in 2 of the 3 blocks in a proposed aggregation.

You have 10 shares out of 100 (10%) in block 1 and you have 2 shares out of 25 (8%) in block 2.

Block 1 has a pre-aggregation value of $100,000 which means your shares equate to 10% of that value or $10,000.

Block 2 has a pre-aggregation value of $25,000 which means your shares equate to 8% of that value or $2000.

Block 3 has a pre-aggregation value of $200,000, but you have no shares in block 3.

The new aggregated ownership list for all three blocks, once created, will have 325,000 shares (being the total value of blocks 1, 2 and 3).

In this example your shareholding in the new aggregation (and therefore in the three blocks) will be 12,000 (being the total value of your shares in blocks 1 and 2) out of 325,000 shares.

The benefits of an aggregation are:

  • a common ownership list being across multiple blocks
  • preserves the original titles and blocks
  • enables the ownership to be managed as one list
  • no consent being required under the Resource Management Act 1991
  • no requirement for land contributions for roads, reserves or public use or access.

Normal land use consents would still be required after aggregation, such as building consents.

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Subdivisions

You can undertake a private subdivision of your land without lodging an application with us so long as:

  • all the legal owners agree to the subdivision (where there is no trust)
  • all the trustees agree to the subdivision (where the land is vested in trustees)
  • the committee of management of a Māori Incorporation agrees (where the land is vested in a Māori Incorporation)
  • the new titles, issued by Land Information New Zealand, have the same owners in each of the new titles, as before the subdivision
  • the status of the new titles remains Māori Freehold Land.

You are responsible for ensuring that any subdivision meets the requirements of any law and you would need to pay any costs including for a new survey, titles and any resource consents.

Once a private subdivision is complete, you must supply copies of the new titles and survey plans to us so we can update our records to correctly show the new subdivisions.

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