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Gaining permission to access Māori land?

Māori land is privately-owned land and does not have public access rights. You must seek permission from the owners or those authorised by them. You must also ask for information about the relevant tikanga (customs or protocols) to observe on that land. You can cause extreme cultural offence by haere pokanoa (unauthorised wandering).

Seeking permission may not be straightforward. You may need the help of the local Māori Land Court and tribal runanga to identify property boundaries, owners and appropriate contacts. Where land Māori trusts or Māori land incorporation own land, it is often possible to contact these entities. The Māori Land Court’s mapping website provides information on Māori land that may help you obtain permission.

Maori Land Court

Crown land returned to Māori as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement has general land status rather than Māori land status under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. Any pre-existing public access rights are usually preserved.