Rating of Whenua Māori

Illustration showing a Marae and whare.

Our objectives for Māori Freehold Land are to support its use, recognise its importance, facilitate development, and avoid further separation from land.

In April 2021 the government passed changes to reduce rating barriers for Māori landowners. These changes took effect on 1 July 2021.

Key changes

This new legislation provides the ability to:

  • make wholly unused land non-rateable
  • rate individual homes on Māori freehold land separately
  • give councils the ability to write off rates arrears
  • allow land protected by Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata land to be made non-rateable
  • standardise rates remissions for Māori freehold land under development
  • treat multiple blocks as one.

Who is affected by the changes?

  • Occupiers of Māori freehold land in multiple ownership
  • Developers of Māori freehold land
  • Owners of Māori freehold land

How to apply

Unused Māori Freehold Land

From 1 July 2021, unused rating units will be treated as non-rateable. 

Previously, owners of multiply-owned land only were able to apply to Council for a 100% remission to be exempt from paying rates on unused land.

To apply for non-rateable status please complete and return this form:

Application for Māori Freehold Land to be non-rateable(PDF, 352KB)

Application for rates write offs for non-rateable Māori Freehold Land(PDF, 200KB)

Separate rating area for Māori land blocks

From 1 July 2021, occupiers of Māori freehold land in multiple ownership 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 but will ensure everyone can have access to rates rebates.

To apply for a separate rating area please complete and return this form:

Māori Freehold Land - Application for separate rating area(PDF, 217KB)

Provision to write off uncollectable rates

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, this includes rates debt inherited from deceased Māori freehold land owners.

To apply for uncollectable rates to be written off please complete and return this form:

Application to write off uncollectable rates(PDF, 200KB)

Development of Māori freehold land rate remissions

We have a remission policy supporting the development of Māori freehold land:

Rates remission and postponement policy

To apply for remission of rates on Māori freehold land please complete and return this form:

Remission of Rates on Unoccupied Māori Freehold Land(PDF, 251KB)

Treating multiple blocks as one for rating purposes

Māori landowners can make an application to have multiple Māori land blocks that come from, or are likely to have come from, the same original block of Māori freehold land treated as one for rating purposes.

To apply to rate units together please complete and return this form:

Rating units in common ownership(PDF, 180KB) 

Papakāinga housing

From 1 July 2021 rates relief is available for temporary / transitional Papakāinga housing.

Remission of Rates for Community, Sports and Other Organisations(PDF, 189KB)

Other changes

Occupation orders

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

However, the Māori Land Court is now required to inform us of any occupation 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 values for rating purposes.

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

Protection for Māori freehold land converted to General land

Protection to Māori land converted to General land by the Māori Affairs Amendment Act 1967 from being sold as abandoned land.

Homes and other activities on Māori reservations

Homes and commercial or agricultural use of land on Māori reservations / marae are liable for rates.

Removing limits on marae reserve land

The arbitrary two-hectare limit on the non-rateability for marae and urupā has been removed.