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.

Te Kooti Pukatono Court Applications

Need help at any stage of the process?

Contact your local Kooti Whenua Māori / Māori Land Court

  • Click HERE to find the details of your nearest Kooti Whenua Māori / Māori Land Court - ask to speak to your case manager if you have one, and have your application number handy.

 

Contact the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre

 

Making an application to te Kooti Whenua Māori / the Māori Land Court:

1. Figure out what you are applying for, for help:

 

2. Find the correct form

 

3. Read the form carefully - it will explain what you need to include in your application:

  • Information
  • Hui / consultation / notification with or to affected people
  • Documentation
  • Filing fees

 

4. Prepare your application

  • Collect the information you need and complete the application form - this may require signatures of affected people.
  • Consult or notify affected people - keep records of all your communications.
  • Source the appropriate filing fee
  • You can request a fee waiver, reduction or refund using Māori Land Court form A1, find the request form by clicking HERE.

 

5. File your application

  • Ensure that you have all of the information required from your careful reading of the application form.
  • Photocopy your application and all supporting documentation and keep the copies for your records.
  • Post or drop your application to your local Māori Land Court office (find contact details HERE).

 

6. Wait for the Māori Land Court to send you a letter acknowledging your application

  • This letter will explain the next steps in your application.
  • Your letter will include an application number (i.e., A2018000XXXX) - keep this somewhere safe and reference it in all your communications with the Court.
  • You letter should also have the name of your case manager at the Court - ask for this person whenever liaising with the Court about your application.
  • If you do not hear anything for three weeks you should follow up by contacting the Court.
  • Rejection. If your application is rejected, the Court should tell you why.

 

Different applications take different pathways from this point - if you are not clear what the next steps are from this letter then you should contact the Court and ask.

 

If your application involves a formal hearing:

A. Wait for the Māori Land Court to send you a letter with the details of your hearing

  • If you do not hear anything for a month from the date of your acknowledgement letter then you should follow up by contacting the Court.
  • The letter will tell you the date, time and location of your hearing - alternatively this letter may outline a different pathway for your application, if so, ensure that you understand the next steps for your application. If you do not then contact the Court and ask.
  • In this letter the Court will notify you if you need to do anything more before the hearing, if so, make sure you do these things, or contact the Court for assistance if you cannot.
  • If you, or another person who is important to the application cannot attend a Court hearing at the specified date, time and location then contact the Court immediately to tell them this, ask what your options are for rescheduling the hearing, having a whānau member or advocate attend on your behalf, or using video conference or phone conference facilities.
  • Tell any other people affected, or possibly affected, by the application of the hearing details as soon as possible.

 

B. Arrive at the formal hearing location

  • The hearing will be before a Judge and conducted in a kaupapa Māori setting. Sometimes this is in a general-law Court House, sometimes a specific Kooti Whenua Māori / Māori Land Court House, sometimes a marae or other community based location.
  • You can appear without a lawyer, however if you would like a lawyer or advocate then ensure that you organise this in advance of the hearing.
  • You can bring your whānau and/or support people with you to Court.
  • You should bring all of the application documents and any other relevant documents or information with you.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Find the Court staff and ask for the documents for your hearing - they will provide you with a summary of your application that the Judge will also have - you may have already received this in advance.
  • Review the Court documents carefully and tell the Court staff if there are any mistakes in them. Take note of your panui number.

 

C. Attend the hearing

  • Please note that the Court is sometimes running late.
  • Your pānui number and application will be called. You should stand and approach the front of the Court room. The Court staff will tell you where you should sit.
  • The staff may ask if you would like to swear or affirm before you speak to the Court. By doing either,  you agree to tell the truth and that you understand it is an legal offence to not tell the truth, swearing is with a bible and affirming is without a bible.
  • The Judge will then greet you and discuss your application with you.
  • If you do not understand what the Judge has said at any time in the hearing you can ask questions until you do fully understand.
  • The Judge will tell you when the hearing is over and you may leave.
  • If you have any questions about the outcome of the hearing, or what to do next you should ask the Court staff on the day, or contact the Court as soon as you can following the hearing to ask.

 

D. Wait for the Māori Land Court to send you a letter with Minutes of your hearing

  • If you do not hear anything for two months from the date of your hearing then you should follow up by contacting the Court.
  • Continue to follow up with the Court every four to six weeks until they send you minutes.
  • Minutes are the written record of what was said by all those who attended the formal hearing including the Judge.
  • If there are any mistakes in them you should contact the Court as soon as possible to tell them this - ask them to fix the mistake (if the mistake is important) and to explain to you how they will fix the mistake. Continue to follow up with the Court until the minutes are corrected and new, correct minutes are sent to you.
  • If Orders were made at the hearing then, you are now waiting for the Orders before your application is complete. If Orders were not made your application made have been adjourned (paused) or dismissed. If you are uncertain about the outcome of the hearing, or what to do next you should you should contact the Court staff and ask.

 

E. Wait for the Māori Land Court to send you a letter with formal Orders of your hearing

  • If you do not hear anything for two months from the date of the previous letter then you should follow up by contacting the Court.
  • Continue to follow up with the Court every four to six weeks until they send you Orders.
  • If there are any mistakes in the Orders you should contact the Court as soon as possible to tell them this. Ask them to fix the mistake (if the mistake is important) and to explain to you how they will do this. Continue to follow up with the Court until the Orders are corrected and new, correct Orders are sent to you.

 

Your application may be complete at this time, however different applications take different pathways - if you are not clear what the next steps are from this letter then you should contact the Court and ask. 

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