Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill

Targeted changes are being made to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. These changes will better support Māori land owners to connect with their whenua. Public submissions on the Bill closed on Tuesday 26 November 2019. You can keep track of the Bill’s progress through Parliament here.

Matuaokore Ahuwhenua Trustee, Frances Stokes and relation Jayden Hokianga on their whenua just north of Tūranganui ā-Kiwa/Gisborne. Photo by Josie McClutchie.


About the proposed amendments

Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament on 19 September 2019. You can find a copy of the Bill here.

The proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 recognise that the protection of Māori land remains a priority but that changes to the legislation will make it easier for Māori land owners to engage with their whenua.

The main initiatives in the Bill are focused on improving the succession process and providing a new dispute resolution process. Additional changes will support the efficient operation of the Māori Land Court and enhance the opportunities for Māori to develop papakāinga on their whenua.

The targeted amendments are part of the Whenua Māori Programme that aims to support Māori land owners and whānau to realise their aspirations for their whenua.

Succeeding to Māori land

Under the current Te Ture Whenua Maori legislation, all succession applications are decided by Māori Land Court Judges. The proposed legislative changes will enable simple and uncontested succession applications to be decided by a registrar of the Māori Land Court without having to go through a court hearing. 

Dispute Resolution

Currently, the only option for whānau to resolve disputes over their whenua is through the court.  The proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act will allow whānau to work with a mediator to come to a resolution, incorporating tikanga Māori where appropriate. 

For more information

To get a fuller understanding of the Bill from a policy perspective, you can read:

Targeted amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993

This booklet summarises the proposed legislative changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. Please note: public submissions on the Bill closed on Tuesday 26 November 2019.


Frequently asked questions

You can also read frequently asked questions and answers about the bill.


The public commentary on the Bill

The Cabinet paper shows the original proposal to make these amendments to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. It also includes the decision by Cabinet to proceed with the legislative changes.


Departmental Disclosure Statement

The Departmental Disclosure Statement is a formal document that sets out background information on the work done by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Justice to develop this Bill including commentary on any provisions that are significant, unusual, or deserving of special comment.


Regulatory Impact Statement

The Regulatory Impact Statement provides a high-level summary of the problems that are being addressed in this Bill, the consultation undertaken, and the proposed arrangements for the implementation and review of the new legislation.



Cabinet papers to introduce the Bill

These papers sought Cabinet approval to introduce Te Ture Whenua Māori (Succession, Dispute Resolutions and Related Matters) Amendment Bill to the House of Representatives.



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