The Māori Land Court (Te Kooti Whenua Māori) is a business unit within the Special Jurisdictions group within the Ministry of Justice.
The Māori Land Court plays an important role in the administration of Māori land in accordance with the provisions of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 (the Act). Consistent with the principles of the Act, the Māori Land Court endeavours to assist Māori landowners to promote the retention, use, development and control of Māori land as taonga tuku iho by Māori owners, their whānau, their hapū and their descendants through the delivery of core services which include:
- timely preparation and processing of applications to the Māori Land Court and Māori Appellate Court;
- the provision of timely and accurate information and advice from the Māori Land Court record; and
- the provision of proactive advisory services and intiatives.
Five percent of land in New Zealand, about 1.47 million hectares, is now designated as Māori freehold land.
The Māori Appellate Court hears appeals from the Māori Land Court. Three or more Judges have power to act as the Māori Appellate Court.