Becoming a landowner
Succession hearings at the Māori Land Court
The Māori Land Court is a court of record. Their role is to ensure that the correct details of Māori land owners are recorded against the whenua they own. Part of that includes hearing whānau applications to succeed to Māori land.
The Māori Land Court (MLC) hold regular succession hearings in each rohe around the country to hear whānau submissions, and record successions.
When you submit a succession application, your MLC case manager will schedule a hearing for you. You can choose where you’d like to have the hearing — you could have it at the MLC venue closest to where you live, or in the same rohe as your whenua.
When you decide where you'd like to have your hearing, your case manager will send you a court notice confirming the time, date and place. You'll get this at least 2 weeks before your hearing.
If you make an application to succeed, it's important that you attend your hearing. If you miss 3 hearings in a row, the Judge could dismiss your application.
If you can't go to your hearing
If you can't attend a hearing for any reason, let your case manager at MLC know as soon as possible. There are other options available if you can’t be there in person. For example, you could:
- ask to have your hearing adjourned to another time you can attend (subject to the Judge's approval)
- phone in on the day
- ask your case manager to help you prepare a written submission to be sent to the hearing instead.
You could also organise to have someone else in the whānau go on your behalf. They'll need to:
- answer any questions that the Judge might have about your application, and
- swear that the information in your application is true and correct.
Your case manager will work with you to schedule a hearing that suits you and your whānau.
Ask to have your hearing in te reo
If you would prefer to have your hearing in te reo, rather than english, let your case worker know in advance. They can make sure there are other te reo speakers there on the day.
Taking someone with you for support
If you don't want to go into the hearing by yourself, you can take whānau in with you for support. You can take anyone you choose in with you — it doesn't have to be someone who's applying for succession with you.
Let your case manager know who will be going in with you before the day of your hearing.