Maori Land Development

by Peter Jefferies - O'Shea's Barristers & Solicitors

Finding a way to manage Maori land under Pakeha laws is often a struggle in terms of maintaining the integrity of ngaa tikanga values. Many of our Maori clients whom own land or act in an administrative role over Maori land commonly seek advice about how to maximise the economic success of their land, whilst balancing the same with principles of retention and ownership.

Key success factors

The following are key success factors that we have identified that have assisted our client’s to strike the balance they are looking for.

  • In order to maximise the economic success of Maori land you need to know what is what! What are you working with? Therefore identifying all existing and potential land is key. O’Sheas is currently working with a large number of Maori Land clients to develop potential future alternative land use options, with a view to maximising stake holder returns.
  • There will always be circumstances that hinder the development of Maori land including fragmentation, multiple ownership and whanau politics. Instead of looking at these as ‘barriers’’, see them as inevitable – but not impediments.
  • It is important to Identify all stakeholders and political priorities in terms of managing stakeholder relationships. This will necessarily involve establishing the most efficient, organised and strategic entity. For example, in the case of a Trust, the key personnel are Trustees. Ideal Trustees are those with skills such as a good working knowledge of the Trust’s goals, are well experienced but not adverse to risk or change and are organised and accessible.
  • Consider all finance options available. Despite traditional views, Maori land is as good as and available to be used as security. We have established contacts with key banks and personnel and are happy to assist in this regard.

Please contact our Maori Legal Issues Team If you require any commercial and/or strategic advice on Maori and/or general land development.

We welcome your feedback

Hi there! We want to make this site as good as it can for you, the user. Please tell us what you would like to do differently and we will do our best to accommodate!

We've updated our Privacy Statement, before you continue. please read our new Privacy Statement and familiarise yourself with the terms.