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Language: English | Māori

Tūhono

How to get information about Māori land

Information about Māori land can be found in different places, depending on what you need to know.

Finding out about whenua you might have interests in isn't always straightforward. There's information in lots of different places, and it doesn't always match up.

To get started, you can get information about Māori land:

  • from your whānau, hapū and iwi
  • in our Tōku Whenua reports
  • at Māori Land Court offices
  • from Māori Land Online
  • from LINZ
  • in Waitangi Tribunal reports.

Information from your whānau

The best way to start connecting with your whenua is through your whānau. They can help with information and kōrero about:

  • where the whenua is
  • who the whenua comes from, and any different names that whanaunga might be known by
  • your whakapapa
  • other owners or people to talk to.

This knowledge is also important if you're thinking about applying for succession.

Different people often have different pieces of information, so it's good to talk to as many of your whanaunga as possible. Share what you find out with your tamariki to protect the knowledge for the future.

Tōku Whenua reports

The Tōku Whenua reports on this website can give you information about a whenua block. They can help you:

  • find out where the whenua is — you’ll be able to see the boundaries of the land and find it on the map
  • see aerial photos of the whenua as it looks now
  • find out about the environment, economy, and climate in the rohe where the whenua is
  • get information about the whenua itself — about the soil, water, slope, and vegetation there.

Find your whenua

Māori Land Court offices

The Māori Land Court (MLC) is a court of record — it works with whānau to ensure that the correct owners are recorded on the correct land.

There are 9 Maori Land Court offices in Aotearoa. They're found in the following cities:

  • Taitokerau — Whāngārei and Auckland
  • Waikato-Maniapoto — Hamilton
  • Waiariki — Rotorua
  • Tairawhiti — Gisborne
  • Takitimu — Hastings
  • Aotea — Whanganui
  • Te Waipounamu — Christchurch
  • Wellington — Office of the Chief Registrar.

Get contact details for Māori Land Court

You can use public access kiosks at MLC offices to search the Māori Land Information System (MLIS) for:

  • ownership lists for Māori land — you can see the chain of succession the whenua passed through to get to the current owners
  • minutes of hearings, orders made by the Court and other documents.

You don't need an appointment to do these searches, you can just turn up between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. 

There are also advisory clinics in smaller centres where you can view MLIS — contact your nearest MLC office to check when and where the next advisory clinic is.

You can also make an appointment to see physical records including:

  • information about leases, occupations and other land uses
  • orders of the Court, like title orders, trust orders, succession orders
  • maps of Māori land
  • title notices affecting Māori land, such as gazette notices, copies of leases and mortgages
  • closed application files.

Physical records can only be viewed in the office they are located in. Contact your local MLC office to find out if they hold the records you are interested in and to make an appointment to see them.

Accessing Māori Land Court records

They also hold restricted records that aren't available to the public. You can request access to these from the Chief Registrar in Wellington.

Restricted Māori land Court records that are not accessible by the public

Māori Land Online

MLC's Māori Land Online website provides a summary of current ownership, block information and whether there are governance structures like trusts or incorporations.

You can do:

  • an owner interest search, including searches on:
    • whānau name
    • trust name
    • trustee name
  • a block search, including searches on: 
    • block name
    • management structure name, for example the name of a trust or incorporation
    • owner name
    • LINZ record of title reference
  • location on a map.

Māori Land Online

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

LINZ can provide copies of land records that are registered with them. You have to pay for this. 

You might need to contact them if you need records for:

  • historical transfers
  • surveying titles
  • land that's been converted to general land.

LINZ Māori land records

Waitangi Tribunal

Information on Māori land is available in the Tribunal reports that it produces on each claim.

Waitangi Tribunal publications and resources

Downloads

How to get information about Māori land — Digital version [PDF 2.4MB]

How to get information about Māori land — Printer-friendly version [PDF 221KB]