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Notice to owners of unadministered Māori land in Tairāwhiti and Takitimu

Notice to Owners of Unadministered Māori Land in the Tairāwhiti and Takitumu Māori Land Districts.

On 4 May 2023 the Māori Land Court made orders appointing the Māori Trustee agent to enter into specified unadministered Māori freehold land with or without professional advisers to carry out a physical inspection and assessment of the extent of damage to the land and its improvements caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

A list of the land blocks subject to the Court’s order can be found below.

Any owners of these lands who do not want the Māori Trustee to carry out this work can make their objection known by contacting the Office of the Māori Trustee via email on [email protected] or freephone 0800 943 682.

You can also complete this online form to make your objection known - here.

Unadministered Māori land blocks

He pātai

Why is the Māori Trustee arranging for over 600 blocks of unadministered Māori land to be inspected and assessed for damage due to Cyclone Gabrielle? 
Owners of unadministered lands do not have formal governance arrangements in place and this significantly complicates organising necessary work to carry out an inspection and assessment of damage. The Māori Trustee administers whenua Māori close to these lands and has offered to carry out these inspections at the same time as the blocks she administers. The Māori Land Court has appointed the Māori Trustee as the agent of owners of the unadministered blocks for the sole purpose of carrying out this important mahi.

Does this mean that the Māori Trustee will be able to take any other actions or decisions in respect of the unadministered Māori land blocks?
No. The Māori Trustee would need the Māori Land Court’s approval to take any further actions or make any decisions affecting the whenua and its owners.

What do I do if I don’t want the Māori Trustee to inspect the whenua?
If you are an owner of a block that the Māori Land Court has approved the Māori Trustee to access for the purpose of carrying out an inspection and damage assessment, you can contact the Māori Trustee to discuss any concerns you have. If you wish to formally object, you can register your objection with the Office of the Māori Trustee.

If a formal objection is received the Māori Trustee would only proceed with the inspection if directed to do so by the Māori Land Court.

When will the inspections take place? 
We expect these to take place between late May and late July but this may take longer.

What will happen to the information obtained from the inspections?
All inspection reports concerning unadministered whenua will be filed with the Māori Land Court and will be available for owners of those blocks on request.

What happens after the inspections?
At this time this is unclear. This will depend on the government’s priorities in terms of funding support for impacted lands and specifically funding available for the owners of whenua Māori. We suggest you keep an eye on our website for updates.

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