Any person that has an interest in a Māori land block can file an application to the Māori Land Court. Determining the right person to lodge the application will depend on the type of application. In general it is the land owner/s, their descendants or their representatives. The Registrar of the Māori Land Court may also lodge applications.
The process of lodging an application is set out in seven, easy to follow steps. If any step is unclear and you would like more information, please contact a Māori Land Court office.
Step 1 | Filing an application
Step 2 | Māori Land Court search
Step 3 | Notification of the Court hearing
Step 4 | Court hearing
Step 5 | Court hearing minutes
Step 6 | Court order
Step 7 | Entry & registration of order
What is a Rehearing?
What is an Appeal?
Applications can be lodged at any Māori Land Court office. The application is to be accompanied by all supporting documentation and the application fee.
Māori Land Court staff will ensure all sections of the application are completed. The Māori Land Court will then accept the application.
Staff will acknowledge receipt of your application, advise approximate timeframe before application will be heard and request further information, if required.
You will then be assigned a designated case manager. The case manager will complete a search of the Māori Land Court records and if necessary they will refer your application to the Court for directions. Finally, a draft submission will be produced for the hearing.
Notice of the Court hearing will be sent at least two weeks before a hearing date. If you are unable to attend this hearing or you wish the hearing to be heard in another location, date or time you can notify your case manager. Notification to your case manager must be in writing, email or fax. The application will be set down at your preference.
A Court hearing takes place for the Māori Land Court to hear evidence and comments from the applicant and any interested parties. From there, the court can make a decision on the case. The hearing is open to the public and Māori Land Court staff will be available to assist you before, during and after your hearing.
Each case is recorded and a minute is produced. A copy of the minute will be sent to the applicant and the interested parties.
A signed and sealed copy of an order will be sent to the applicant and the interested parties. The order will not be sent until the maturity period has expired. The maturity period is two months after the date of the hearing.
The order is entered in the Māori Land Information System (MLIS) which is then processed into Māori Land Online (MLOL). If necessary the order will be sent to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for registration.
If you believe that evidence produced at a Court hearing was not sufficient, irrelevant, lacking or incorrect you can apply for a rehearing.
A rehearing application must be made within twenty-eight (28) days from the date of the hearing. The only time exception is when the judge is satisfied that the application could not have reasonably been made sooner.
An application for rehearing can be made:
– Orally in the open Court
– In writing, and given to the Clerk of the Court during the sitting
– In writing and filed with the Registrar of the Māori Land Court after the hearing.
If you do not agree with the decision made by the Court you can apply for an appeal. Legal advice should be sought for this type of application.
An appeal application can be lodged within two (2) months from the date of the hearing or within a period that the Māori Appellate Court allows.
If you would like more information about making an application, the Application Process booklet is available on this site. Application forms are also available on this site and from any Māori Land Court district office.