Rating of Whenua Māori
We recognise whenua Māori as a taonga tuku iho and support the use and development of Māori freehold land for the benefit of the landowners.
Important changes to the rating of whenua Māori in 2021 have now reduced rating barriers, making it easier to use whenua Māori while also recognising its unique characteristics. More information on these changes is available on the Te Puni Kōkiri website.
If you have any questions or would like to have a kōrero about your whenua, please contact the Kaupapa Māori team on 0800 926 732 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is affected by the changes?
- Owners of Māori freehold land
- Occupiers of Māori freehold land
- Developers of Māori freehold land
Why were the changes made?
Most of the previous legislation was outdated and did not reflect current expectations between Tangata Whenua and the Crown. It also proved to be a major barrier for Māori landowners using and developing their whenua.
The changes under the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021 aim to remove rating barriers and support the development and provision of housing on whenua Māori.
What are the key changes?
The key changes are:
- Wholly unused Māori land including Ngā Whenua Rahui kawenata is non-rateable
- Council can write off outstanding rates that are unrecoverable
- Separate rating areas can be created for individual dwellings on Māori freehold land
- Multiple Māori land blocks from the same parent block can apply to be treated as one for rating purposes
- Rates remission policy that supports development of Māori freehold land
For more information, see the Te Puni Kōkiri website.
Has anything else changed?
Other changes that have been made are:
- Protecting Māori freehold land converted to General land by the Māori Affairs Amendment Act 1967 from being sold or leased as abandoned land
- The Māori Land Court will now notify Council of any occupation orders granted within our district
- Removing the arbitrary two-hectare limit on the non-rateability for marae and urupā
- Clarifying that home on Māori reservations are liable for rates
- Clarifying the obligations on trustees to declare income received from land if requested, to ascertain rates liability Local government rating legislation
Non-rateable Māori Freehold Land
An unused rating unit of Māori freehold land or land that is subject to Ngā Whenua Rahui kawenata is fully non-rateable from 1 July 2021 under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.
Unused means that no part of the land must be:
- used or leased by any person
- used as residential accommodation, or
- used for any activity other than for personal visits to the land.
If only a portion of Māori freehold land is unused it may still qualify for rates remission under Council’s Policy for rates remission on Māori land.
To apply for non-rateable status please complete and return this form:
Separate Ratings Areas
An occupier of Māori freehold land, who does not have an occupation order, can now apply for a separate rating area (SRA) if their dwelling is used separately from the other land in the rating unit. If there is a Trust managing the rating unit, the application must be made by a trustee with consent of the person using the identified part of the rating unit.
Separate rating areas provides occupiers of Māori freehold land with multiple dwellings, the ability to receive their rates invoice directly. The rates for an SRA are calculated based on the portion of the rating unit being used. The individual who is using the SRA is responsible for the payment of the rates until the cancellation of the SRA or a change in the person using the SRA.
It’s important to understand that an SRA is used for rating purposes only and does not create any right of occupancy or interest in the land.
Ratepayers with an SRA can now access the Rates Rebate Scheme (see Applying for a reduction).
To apply for an SRA please complete and return this form:
Occupation orders are granted by the Māori Land Court under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.
An occupation order grants a person exclusive use and occupation of the whole or any part of the land as a site for a house (including a house that has already been built and is located on that land when the order was made). Under the Rating Valuation Rules 2008, an occupation order constitutes a rating unit.
There is no change to the rules regarding the rating of land that is subject to an occupation order. However, the Māori Land Court will now notify Council of any occupation orders granted within our district.
Once we are notified, a new rating unit will be created for the land subject to an occupation order and we will contact the new occupier of the rating unit to provide information on the rates.
Write-off of unrecoverable rates
Council can now write off rates that cannot reasonably be recovered or have been inherited and were payable by a deceased owner at the time of their passing.
To apply for the rates write off please complete and return this form:
Treating multiple blocks as one for rating purposes
A Māori landowner using two or more rating units of Māori freehold land, can now apply for the rating units to be treated as one for rating purposes. The units must be derived from the same original block of Māori freehold land. To apply to join multiple Māori land blocks
To apply to join multiple Māori land blocks
Rates Remission for Unused Land
Māori freehold land that is partially unused and does not meet the requirements to be non-rateable, may still qualify for rates remission under Council’s Policy for Rates Remission of Māori freehold land.
Māori land converted to General land by the Māori Affairs Amendment Act 1967 may also qualify for rates remission if the land is fully or partially unused.
To apply for annual rates remission on Māori freehold land, please complete and return this form:
Rates Remission for Economic Development
If you are developing Māori freehold land, including development of a papakainga, it may qualify for rates remission for economic development under Council’s policy for Rates Remission on Māori freehold land.
To apply for the rates remission please complete and return this form:
Application for Rates Remission on Māori freehold land for economic development