Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre

We provide a free legal service for Māori land matters and aim to educate and empower all members of our community.



Securing access to justice in the Māori Land Court – 

Can “design thinking” help us better understand users’ experience?

  • Have you made an application to the Māori Land Court, on behalf of yourself or your whānau, to succeed to an interest in Māori land? 
  • Would you be willing to complete a series of short written exercises (5 to 10 minutes each) related to that experience and then meet with a researcher to talk about them? 


This is research for an investigation into what the Māori Land Court is like for whānau and individuals who use it – as opposed to lawyers, judges or court staff. Gaining a deeper understanding of user experience is important if the Court is to be accessible to non-lawyers who may have no prior experience with a court process.     

You will complete five short exercises in a workbook (one per day for five days) and will then meet with a researcher for up to an hour to talk about what you did.  You do not need to have design or creative skills, or any particular confidence with reading or writing – anyone can do the exercises.  You will be given $40 in recognition of your participation in the project.  

You must be 18 years or older and have experience of making an application to the Māori Land Court to succeed to an interest in land.

The contact for this research is Mihiata Pirini, University of Otago,

 027 340 2301,

This project has been reviewed and approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee. Reference: 19/095

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