Papakāinga

Find out about setting up papakāinga in the Whangārei District.

Papakāinga is a term describing housing on ancestral Māori land and can include other activities associated with the nature and function of the papakāinga. For example, a marae, shared gardens, or commercial activities that provide jobs and income to support those living in the papakāinga.  

Te Tai Tokerau Papakāinga toolkit is designed to help owners of whenua Māori understand and navigate the process for undertaking papakāinga development on their ancestral lands, including the processes of Council and the Māori Land Court.

Te Tai Tokerau Papakāinga Toolkit(PDF, 3MB)

How is Papakāinga planned for in Whangārei?

Papakāinga, including housing and other activities, is provided for on Māori Land in the Whangārei District through a set of enabling provisions in the District Plan.

The rules for Papakāinga can be applied to ancestral land within the Whangārei District that is as defined in Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 as:

  • Māori freehold land; or
  • general land owned by Māori.

Where land does not fit these categories, area specific zone rules can be used to enable Papakāinga development to occur elsewhere in the District. Sometimes applying the underlying zone rules to land that is eligible to use the Papakāinga rules, may be a more straightforward.

Are there any other rules I need to follow?

Where the Papakāinga rules are applied to eligible land, the following rules will also apply:

  • District Plan Rules of the underlying zone, unless otherwise specified in rule PKA.1.5.1(b).

The following rules also apply to papakāinga developed on land anywhere in the District, regardless of whether it is eligible to use the Papakāinga rules:

Request a Statement of Position

The Māori Land Court 'Application for An Occupation Order (Form 40)' requires the applicant to provide “written preliminary advice from the local authority that a dwelling will be permitted on the proposed site”.   We refer to this as a Statement of Position. 

If you are making an application to the Māori Land Court for an Occupation Order, you can request a Statement of Position from us to support your application. This is a free service, and we will endeavour to process your application within 20 working days.

Our application form identifies the information that we require to assist us with providing written preliminary advice to support your application to the Māori Land Court.

You can fill in the application either via your browser or a PDF reader (e.g. Adobe Reader).  Download and save the application to your computer.  Open with either your browser or a PDF reader to fill in. 

Please remember to save once you have filled in the form.  Otherwise, you can print a copy and fill in by hand.  

Request a Statement of Position application(PDF, 779KB)

In many cases we will not be able to confirm through a Statement of Position that a dwelling will be a permitted activity as the level of information required to make this assessment is not always available at this stage of the process. 

However, we will identify those aspects of the District Plan that are likely to be the most relevant to a proposal, and any resource consents that may be required. 

Apply for an approval for Papakāinga

To achieve your aspirations for Papakāinga on your whenua you may need to make an application to us for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan and / or a land use consent. 

By email

Step 1.Seek advice and help with setting up Papakāinga

If you are thinking about establishing papakāinga on your whenua, we recommend you seek early advice from us.

We provide free assistance with applying the rules and pre-application services. We can also facilitate bringing other agencies into conversations regarding your aspirations or development.

How we can help

We also recommend you seek early advice from the Māori Land Court.

They will be able to provide advice about any applications you may need to make to them, to enable you to do what you wish to on your whenua. For example applying for an occupation order or licence to occupy.  

Using your Māori land (maorilandcourt.govt.nz)

Te Puni Kōkiri can also help through funding, information, advice and practical support.  They are an organisation that provides support to whānau, hapū, iwi and rōpū in achieving their housing aspirations.

Māori housing support (tpk.govt.nz) 

Step 2.Apply for acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan

Where what you want to do on your whenua is permitted under the Papakāinga rules, you need to apply to us for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan. This is a free service, and we will endeavour to process your application within 20 working days of receiving it.

Our application form identifies the information that we require to assist us with accepting your Papakāinga Development Plan.

Download the application, print and complete it by hand.

Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan application(PDF, 275KB)

Step 3.Email us

Email your completed application and supporting documents to:

Email:  mailroom@wdc.govt.nz

Step 4.Assessing your application

We will undertake an assessment of your application to determine if it meets the permitted activity standards set out in PKA.1.5 of the District Plan.

We may ask you for additional information to assist with this assessment. 

Step 5.Receive written acceptance

Where we identify that the permitted activity standard is met, we will provide you written acceptance of your Papakāinga Development Plan.

Where it is identified that the permitted activity standard is not met, we will advise in writing as to the reason(s) for this.   

Step 6.Apply for a land use consent

In addition to applying for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan, you may need to apply for a land use consent where what you want to do on your whenua is not a permitted activity under any relevant rule of the District Plan or a National Environmental Standard administered by us.

Apply for a land use consent

Where a land use consent is required, we recommend you apply for acceptance of your Papakāinga Development Plan at the same time.

Step 7.Apply for building consent

Development of Papakāinga will also require a building consent.

Apply for a building consent

In-person

Step 1.Seek advice and help with setting up Papakāinga

If you are thinking about establishing papakāinga on your whenua, we recommend you seek early advice from us.

We provide free assistance with applying the rules and pre-application services. We can also facilitate bringing other agencies into conversations regarding your aspirations or development.

How we can help

We also recommend you seek early advice from the Māori Land Court.

They will be able to provide advice about any applications you may need to make to them, to enable you to do what you wish to on your whenua. For example applying for an occupation order or licence to occupy.  

Using your Māori land (maorilandcourt.govt.nz)

Te Puni Kōkiri can also help through funding, information, advice and practical support.  They are an organisation that provides support to whānau, hapū, iwi and rōpū in achieving their housing aspirations.

Māori housing support (tpk.govt.nz) 

Step 2.Apply for acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan

Where what you want to do on your whenua is permitted under the Papakāinga rules, you need to apply to us for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan. This is a free service, and we will endeavour to process your application within 20 working days of receiving it.

Our application form identifies the information that we require to assist us with accepting your Papakāinga Development Plan.

Download the application, print and complete it by hand.

Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan application(PDF, 275KB)

Step 3.Bring into us

Bring your completed application and supporting documents into one of our Customer Service centres:

Forum North customer service centre
7 Rust Avenue, Whangārei
Monday to Friday - 8:00am to 4:30pm
Closed public holidays

Ruakākā service centre 
9 Takutai Place, Ruakākā
Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 4:00pm
Closed public holidays

Step 4.Assessing your application

We will undertake an assessment of your application to determine if it meets the permitted activity standards set out in PKA.1.5 of the District Plan.

We may ask you for additional information to assist with this assessment. 

Step 5.Receive written acceptance

Where we identify that the permitted activity standard is met, we will provide you written acceptance of your Papakāinga Development Plan.

Where it is identified that the permitted activity standard is not met, we will advise in writing as to the reason(s) for this.   

Step 6.Apply for a land use consent

In addition to applying for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan, you may need to apply for a land use consent where what you want to do on your whenua is not a permitted activity under any relevant rule of the District Plan or a National Environmental Standard administered by us.

Apply for a land use consent

Where a land use consent is required, we recommend you apply for acceptance of your Papakāinga Development Plan at the same time.

Step 7.Apply for building consent

Development of Papakāinga will also require a building consent.

Apply for a building consent

By post

Step 1.Seek advice and help with setting up Papakāinga

If you are thinking about establishing papakāinga on your whenua, we recommend you seek early advice from us.

We provide free assistance with applying the rules and pre-application services. We can also facilitate bringing other agencies into conversations regarding your aspirations or development.

How we can help

We also recommend you seek early advice from the Māori Land Court.

They will be able to provide advice about any applications you may need to make to them, to enable you to do what you wish to on your whenua. For example applying for an occupation order or licence to occupy.  

Using your Māori land (maorilandcourt.govt.nz)

Te Puni Kōkiri can also help through funding, information, advice and practical support.  They are an organisation that provides support to whānau, hapū, iwi and rōpū in achieving their housing aspirations.

Māori housing support (tpk.govt.nz) 

Step 2.Apply for acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan

Where what you want to do on your whenua is permitted under the Papakāinga rules, you need to apply to us for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan. This is a free service, and we will endeavour to process your application within 20 working days of receiving it.

Our application form identifies the information that we require to assist us with accepting your Papakāinga Development Plan.

Download the application, print and complete it by hand.

Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan application(PDF, 275KB)

Step 3.Post to us

Post your completed application and supporting documents to:

Whangarei District Council 
Private Bag 9023
Whangārei 0148

Step 4.Assessing your application

We will undertake an assessment of your application to determine if it meets the permitted activity standards set out in PKA.1.5 of the District Plan.

We may ask you for additional information to assist with this assessment. 

Step 5.Receive written acceptance

Where we identify that the permitted activity standard is met, we will provide you written acceptance of your Papakāinga Development Plan.

Where it is identified that the permitted activity standard is not met, we will advise in writing as to the reason(s) for this.   

Step 6.Apply for a land use consent

In addition to applying for Acceptance of a Papakāinga Development Plan, you may need to apply for a land use consent where what you want to do on your whenua is not a permitted activity under any relevant rule of the District Plan or a National Environmental Standard administered by us.

Apply for a land use consent

Where a land use consent is required, we recommend you apply for acceptance of your Papakāinga Development Plan at the same time.

Step 7.Apply for building consent

Development of Papakāinga will also require a building consent.

Apply for a building consent

Disclaimer

The information on this page provides an indication of District Plan rules which frequently apply to what you can do with your property. They are not a comprehensive list of all rules that might apply to a particular use or development.

The District Plan should be referred to in all cases for a comprehensive list of applicable rules.  

We are in the process of adopting a new District Plan which means there are currently two versions of the District Plan – an Operative District Plan and an Appeals Version District Plan. 

The rules referred to on this page are those of the Appeals Version District Plan, which are now ‘treated as operative’. In resolving outstanding appeals, additional rules may be added to the District Plan which may change what you are permitted to do on your property.

The Appeals Version District Plan will become the new Operative District Plan once any outstanding appeals are resolved. 

District Plan