Video: When the home is on Māori Land: beware the legal issues

We held a seminar with speaker Jacinta Ruru. At a time when housing is becoming more unaffordable and homelessness is on the rise, facilitating the construction of homes on Māori land seems like an obvious solution. But is it as simple as that? What are the legal ramifications of building on Māori land? And what are the potential legal barriers landowners may have to navigate? View the event video.

Jacinta Ruru
When the home is on Māori Land: beware the legal issues

At a time when efforts are being made to seek reconciliation with tangata whenua through contemporary law and policy, there is a new emphasis on recognising the need to facilitate more widespread building of residential homes on Māori freehold land. There is increased pressure from Māori organisations and individuals to use their land for housing. While the current statute governing Māori land – Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 – aims to enable utilisation of Maori land, hindering this objective has been law, policy and professional practice. This seminar considers some of the pertinent issues in law for building residential homes on Māori freehold land, especially if there are the added legal complications of a breakdown of matrimonial relationships or damage to the home itself following, for example, a natural disaster.

Presentation: Jacinta Ruru, When the home is on Māori land: beware the legal issues,pdf




Jacinta Ruru (Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) is Professor of Law at the University of Otago, Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Centre of Māori Research Excellence and a fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.  She is editor of Resource Management Journal, Resource Management Theory & Practice, and consultant editor for Māori Law Review. Jacinta’s research explores indigenous peoples’ legal interests to own, manage and govern land and water. She has published widely including as co-author of Discovering Indigenous Lands (Oxford University Press, 2010) and, importantly for this seminar, co-author of Revised Legal Frameworks for Ownership and Use of Multi-dwelling Units (BRANZ Report ER23, 2017).

This seminar took place on Wednesday 8 November 2017 at Adam Auditorium, City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.

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