Organisations you can contact

The organisations in this list all have records relating to Māori land and can be used as a starting point for research into Māori land.

Māori Land Court

The Māori Land Court is a court of record. Its principal function is to record the ownership of Māori land. The records date from 1862.

The Court has a continuous history of recording Māori land ownership, right from the first Crown Grants to the present time. The Court must approve the sale of Māori land, the transfer of shares in Māori land between owners or to new shareholders, the alienation of Māori land (by lease or licence) and the partition (subdivision) of Māori land. The Court proceedings are recorded in Minute Books of the Māori Land Court, and decisions are recorded by Court orders, sealed with the official stamp of the Court by the presiding judge.

Three or more judges of the Māori Land Court may convene as the Māori Appellate Court to hear appeals against judgments of the Māori Land Court or to consider matters related to the traditional tribal boundaries, referred to it by the Waitangi Tribunal for decision.

Judges may also be called upon to be presiding officers of the Waitangi Tribunal when the Tribunal sits in divisions.

Te Puni Kokiri

The main role of Te Puni Kokiri is to provide high quality policy advice to government on:

  • The Crown's relationship with iwi, hapu, and Māori; and
  • The Government's objectives, interests and obligations relating to Māori.

The Māori Trustee

The Māori Trustee's main activities are:

  • Administration of certain blocks of Māori-owned land that are held under an agency or trust for the owners
  • Collection and distribution to owners of rents and other income from the land that the Māori Trustee administers
  • Investment of trust monies

More information about the Māori Trustee is available here:

Archives New Zealand

Archives New Zealand ensures access to, and preservation of, those official records which have significantly affected the development of New Zealand, the function of its government, and the lives and liberties of its citizens.

Archives has a database of Māori Land Court Minute Books published as the New Zealand and Pacific Collection by the University of Auckland, September 1996.

Some land record types are also held with Archives New Zealand. Check the list of record locations to see where particular record types are available from.

Waitangi Tribunal

The role of the Waitangi Tribunal is to make recommendations to government on claims brought by Māori relating to the practical application of the Treaty of Waitangi and to determine whether the matters claimed are inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Tribunal has recommendatory powers only (except in relation to section 27B of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986) but many of its past recommendations to government have been accepted and implemented. The Tribunal reports that have been published to date are a rich source of Māori histories.

Te Arawhiti - the Office for Māori Crown Relations

The primary functions of Te Arawhiti - the Office for Māori Crown Relations are to:

  • Negotiate on behalf of the Crown the settlement of historical grievances under the Treaty of Waitangi;
  • Implement settlements that have been reached;
  • Administer the Mechanism for the Protection of Māori interests in surplus Crown lands (the Māori Protection Mechanism).

National Library

The National Library holds rich and varied collections of research material, and houses the Alexander Turnbull Library - a storehouse of words, pictures and sounds that tell us about the activities of people in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Crown Forestry Rental Trust

The Crown Forestry Rental Trust has records relating to the Crown land over which Crown Forest Licences are issued. Further information about the Trust is available on it’s website: