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Rates on Māori land

Rates changes for collectively owned Māori land

In 2021, changes are being made to laws for rates on land collectively owned by Māori.

The changes give better recognition to communal ownership of Māori land and situations where multiple houses are on one land block.

They also make unused Māori land unrateable, including land under Ngā Whenua Rāhui covenants.

Who is affected

  • Occupiers of Multiple Owned Maori Land (MOML)
  • Developers of Māori Freehold Land (MFL)

Why the changes are happening

Central Government says the laws are being changed because they no longer meet expectations about the relationship between Māori and the Crown.

The changes aim to make it easier for whānau to use, develop and live on their tūpuna whenua.

Some of the legislation being changed stretches back to the Māori Land Rating Act 1924.

When the changes are happening

Some of the changes have already occurred, while others will come into effect on 1 July 2021.

What is changing

The changes are occurring under the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021.

Separate rating area for Māori land blocks

From 1 July 2021, occupiers of Multiple Owned Maori Land (MOML) blocks with a dwelling can apply to have a Separate Rating Area (SRA).

This means individual portions of collectively owned land will be allocated to the occupiers for rating purposes, and those people would receive rating invoices directly.

It’s important to understand that this arrangement will be for rating purposes only and will not create any legal property rights.

Occupiers with an SRA will be able to apply for a rates rebate, which was not possible under the old legislation.

Non-rateable Multiple Owned Māori Land (MOML)

From 1 July 2021, Multiple Owned Māori land (MOML) blocks that are unable to be used or are not being utilised will be treated as non-rateable.

Previously, the owners of such land had to apply to Council for a 100% remission to be exempt from paying rates.

Development of Māori freehold land rate remissions

There is now provision for owners and developers to apply for rates remissions while Māori Freehold Land (MFL) is being developed.

We will create a policy for this in consultation with tangata whenua.

Provision to write off uncollectable rate

Under the new legislation there is provision for Council’s chief executive to write off rates where all practicable steps have been undertaken to collect payment.

Occupational orders

There is no change for occupational orders that have been granted through the courts.

However, the Māori Land Court is now required to inform us of any occupational orders that have been granted.

Once we are notified, we will set up a new rating unit as described above. We will contact the new occupier of the new rating unit and determine the property’s capital value (CV) for rating purposes.

People who have an occupational order are eligible to apply for rates rebate.

Contact information

If you are affected by these changes and would like to talk through your options, contact Charlie Roddick, Revenue Collections and Māori Land Specialist.

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