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Family Law Property (Westlaw New Zealand) - Māori Land Succession update and new author

Content updates

Family Law is proud to introduce Leo Watson, our latest contributor for the Succession chapter in Family Law Property, covering succession to Māori land with commentary on pt 4 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 (Administration of Estates).

Leo is a barrister and solicitor working in Napier and also a part-time lecturer for the Otago University Law Faculty. He has 21 years’ experience in Indigenous Law, including Treaty of Waitangi claims, Māori land, compulsory acquisition and public works, administrative law, fisheries, traditional knowledge and intellectual property, employment and environmental law.

And timing is everything! With Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Act 2020 bringing some important amendments into force on 6 February 2021, we have a new and revised introduction to the succession to Māori Land, and commentary to the amended provisions.

The purpose of the amendments to the principal Act by this amending legislation is set out in the Explanatory Note on the bar-1 Bill (the Bill as introduced into Parliament) as being to:

  • enhance the intergenerational well-being of owners of Māori land, supporting opportunities for owners to use their land to meet their aspirations:
  • simplify the complexity and requirements that owners of Māori land encounter when engaging with the Māori Land Court, while preserving the integrity of the Māori land tenure system:
  • promote the efficient operation of the Māori Land Court, decrease the costs of resolving issues relating to Māori land, and ensure that the remedies available to enforce a decision are practical and effective:
  • ensure that the Māori land tenure system is fit for purpose, clear, user-friendly, and future-proofed.

The new pt 3A on dispute resolutions, now introduced by the amendment Act into the principal Act, has been added for online, ProView and loose-leaf and there is new commentary already in that new Part. Online and ProView subscribers have also got access to the Māori Land Court Rules 2011 now, following after the Act, for information.

Leo is also reviewing all of the commentary for pt 4 and has already added a lot of case law and commentary to the section, so we are pleased to see the opportunity taken for a good freshen up of the chapter all round.

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