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.

Farewell to Kate

Farewell to Kate

On Friday 22 October, we bid farewell our wonderful lawyer Kate. Kate has moved on to local firm Downie Stewart, where she is working primarily in the trusts space.


Kate achieved a lot in her five years at the Law Centre despite only being part-time. Kate assisted clients on a range of different issues including some of the most difficult applications you can file in the Māori Land Court. She was also highly engaged in various groups/organisations: she was a member of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, committee member of the Otago Women Lawyers Society, a qualified mediator, and student at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.


Kate was always looking for new ways to add to her kete (basket) and her enthusiasm will be sorely missed. We take this opportunity to thank Kate for her commitment to the Law Centre over the years and wish her all the very best in her new role. Thankfully, Kate is still local and only a phone call away.


Mā te kimi ka kite, mā te kite ka mōhio, mā te mōhio ka mārama – seek and discover, discover and know, know and become enlightened

COVID-19 UPDATED PĀNUI - 08 September 2021

Our offices remain closed to the public during Covid alert level 2. We are back in the office working from Monday 13 September 2021. You can contact us by phone or email, and we will get back to you when we are able.

We will keep you updated with any further developments. 


The Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre is moving premises! Please note:

  • Our office at Level 1, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin will be closed indefinitely from Friday 19 March 2021.
  • The Law Centre will be completely shut down from Friday 19 March 2021 until Tuesday 06 April 2021 (after the Easter long weekend).
  • We will be working from home from Tuesday 06 April 2021 until our new premises in Carroll Street is ready. We are hoping to be in our new premises by the end of April.
  • We would prefer if clients can contact us via email during the time we are shut down and working from home.
  • Any mail can be sent to: Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre, PO Box 633, Dunedin 9054.

Details of our new premises will be given in due course.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time and look forward to seeing you again in our new space! 

Ngā mihi o te tau hou!

The new year has brought with it a new rōia to the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre. A warm welcome to Paul Ellicott. Paul previously worked for 6 years as a General Practice Solicitor and is excited to move into the realm of Māori land law. We are very happy to have him on the team.

We would also like to welcome our new board member, Mihiata Pirini (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea). Mihiata is a lecturer at the University of Otago. She has previously worked at the Law Commission and on Crown Law’s Treaty of Waitangi Team. Paul and Mihiata each bring with them a valuable kete of knowledge and experience that are already benefiting the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre and our community.

Another matter to note is that the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre is changing locations. This means we will be closed as we shift from 22 March to 6 April. Stay tuned, more details will follow!

2020 Annual General Meeting - all welcome!

Kia ora e te whānau,

All are welcome at the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre's 2020 AGM on the 18th November 2020. This will be held at our office; Level 1, 258 Stuart Street.

The agenda will include a review of the AGM minutes from 2019, reports, appointment of 2021 Auditor, the Financial Report, and General Business.

Farewell to Haines

Farewell to Haines

Sadly, the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre has said farewell to Haines after 11 years of sterling service. Haines has a new position with the Ministry of Primary Industries, where he will be working with Māori land owners to help utilise their land. This is somewhat a natural progression from the mahi he did with the Law Centre.

During his time at the Law Centre, Haines assisted many whānau with succession, forming trusts and partitions to help whānau build and live on their land. His whakapapa knowledge is immense and on several occasions whānau were astounded that he had connected them to half of Ngāi Tahu within a short time of meeting them.

Haines’ resignation will leave a huge gap in the operations of the Law Centre. Fortunately, we have a willing and able team who are most capable of providing the high level of service our community has come to expect from the Law Centre.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Haines for his tireless efforts over the years and wish him well with his future career path. We look forward to hearing updates from the other side!

Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, haere whakamua – care for the land, care for the people, go forward

RE: Hawea/Wanaka Substitute land (SILNA) potential successors list

You may be aware the Māori Land Court are currently working towards updating the list of potential successors for the Hawea/Wanaka Substitute land (being section 2 of 5 Block XIV, Lower Wanaka SD) – (SILNA) Block.


Many of the potential successors currently on the list are deceased – if your tipuna is on that list, you need to succeed to them. The Court is looking to hold a meeting of potential successors (hopefully this year) so you need to succeed in order to participate!


To succeed to SILNA lands you need to file a special succession application to the Court. These applications are simpler than succeeding to other Māori land interests, all you need is 1) the death certificate for the potential successor, and 2) their whakapapa information – it’s that easy!


Please note, we will not be taking new clients specifically for SILNA applications – but are happy to assist with initial enquiries. If you send an email to with the name/s of the tipuna and their children, we can confirm whether they are on the list and if so, provide you with a SILNA application form.


Alternatively, you can go direct to the Māori Land Court at and enquire with them.

Mihi to Brylee / Welcome to Florence

The end of 2019 saw us bid farewell to one of our lawyers, Brylee Sawyer. Brylee started with the Centre back in 2016 and is off to explore the world for the next two years! Brylee has been an integral member of the team and will be dearly missed by the Law Centre and her clients.

Ngā mihi ki a koe, Brylee, i tō mahi.  Haere pai atu. 



At this time we wish to welcome our new law graduate, Florence Dean. Florence finished studying law at the University of Otago in 2019. She is currently working as Law Clerk, soon to be a Lawyer following her admission. We are excited to have Florence on board coming into the new decade. Nau mai, haere mai!

site powered by - Turboweb :: Simple Web Manager