The changes are part of the Government’s wider commitment to supporting whānau and regional development through whenua by:
- reducing the barriers for owners of Māori freehold land who want to use, occupy, build houses on and develop their whenua, particularly for those who have rates arrears.
- stimulating regional development – the value of fully utilising and developing Māori land could result in benefits of up to $1.4 to $2 billion over 40 years.
- providing greater consistency, equity and clarity around the rating of Māori land for the benefit of Māori landowners and local authorities.
- Provide local authorities with the power to remove rates arrears if the chief executive is satisfied that the rates are uncollectable.
- Make most unused land non-rateable.
- Provide a statutory rates remission process for Māori freehold land under development.
- Allow multiple Māori freehold land blocks from a parent block to be treated as one for rating purposes.
- Create separate rating areas thus enable individual houses on Māori land to be rated as if they were a rating unit. This will enable low-income homeowners on blocks with more than one home to access rates rebates.
- Provide protection to Māori land made general land by the Māori Affairs Amendment Act 1967 from being leased or sold as “abandoned land sales”.
- Extend the non-rateability for marae to all land, not only those on a Māori reservation.
- Clarify the obligations on trustees to declare income received from land if requested to ascertain rates liability.
- Clarify that homes on Māori reservations are liable for rates.
- Reference the principles of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 in local government rating legislation to signal the intent of the changes.
The key changes to the legislation, support the use and development of Māori freehold land.
If you require a separate rating area (SAR) to be created for a separate rate invoice or to apply for a rate rebate - please speak to your local council to request the Separate Rating Areas application form.
If you think your land may be non-rateable – please speak to your local council or to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Māori Land Specialist to discuss the use of the Māori land.
Contact our Māori Land Specialist
If you are affected by these changes and would like to talk through your options, contact our Māori Land Specialist Charlie Roddick, Rates Engagement Team Leader.
Changes to the rating of Māori land before and after the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act.