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Maori land tenure and land use: A planner’s point of view.

Author Category Source

The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 75(2), 210-222

Published Year

This article examines Māori land tenure and land use from the viewpoint of a planner.

The author engages with the complexities of Māori land practices, offering insights into how traditional tenure systems intersect with contemporary planning considerations. Rosenberg notes at the outset that present Māori misgivings about further changes in the law affecting Māori land tenure can be understood in the historical context. The article is characterised by a blend of scholarly analysis and practical planning insights, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities in the management of Māori lands. Rosenberg quotes Hugh Kawhuru, providing a nuanced insight into the complexities of traditional Māori land tenure including the importance of ahika. The conclusion provides six key considerations: alienation of Māori land to Europeans may harm existing Māori communities; ‘total land utilisation’ policy for Māori land should align with regional planning; evidence suggests that leasing Māori land to Europeans has led to deterioration; communal ownership is favoured over individualisation of land titles; consideration of Māori traditional tenure should prioritise kinship groups; and a critique of paternalistic policies, advocating for alignment with the evolving Crown-Māori partnership and devolution of land use functions from the Māori Land Court.

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