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Ko Ngā Tumanako o Ngā Tāngata Whai Whenua Māori – Owner aspirations regarding the utilisation of Māori land.

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Te Puni Kōkiri, ,

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This report synthesises the findings from a series of hui held to understand the aspirations of Māori landowners and the challenges and facilitators to achieving these aspirations.

It aligns these findings with the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (TTWMA) to inform potential future regulatory reviews. This research is a continuation of the Māori Land Tenure Review initiated by Hui Taumata in 2005. Key findings from six national hui highlighted diverse aspirations among Māori landowners. These ranged from retaining ancestral land and utilising it in ways that reflect traditional values such as kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga, to using the land for business ventures, including farming and tourism. Barriers to realising these aspirations include a lack of commonality among ownership groups, divergent management entities, limited information on land and ownership, and regulatory constraints that do not align with current circumstances. The report suggests that the regulatory framework often depends excessively on discretionary exercises and does not adequately balance the TTWMA’s objectives of retention and utilisation. It also notes the disassociation of many owners from their land, the challenges inherent in trust structures, and the limitations of current whānau and whenua tōpū (land) trusts. The report advocates for a comprehensive review of both regulatory and non-regulatory factors affecting Māori land and land tenure. It proposes that any review should respect and strive to realise owner aspirations, acknowledge variations in land size and management structures, offer tailored solutions, and effectively target resources for Māori land development. The review should aim to remove regulatory obstacles, assist owners in land utilisation, and mitigate risks for those currently unable to use their land. Potential areas for review include regulatory exemptions for certain land management entities, legislative amendments to facilitate land utilisation, strategies to address land and ownership fragmentation, and evaluating the effectiveness of resources available to landowners.

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