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How do I gain permission to access Māori land?
Māori land is privately-owned land and does not have public access rights. Permission must be sought from the owners or those authorised by them. Information must also be requested about the relevant tikanga (customs or protocols) to be observed on that land.
Extreme cultural offence may be caused by haere pokanoa (unauthorised wandering).
Seeking permission may not be straightforward. Property boundaries, owners and appropriate contacts may have to be identified with the help of the local Māori Land Court and tribal runanga (council). Where land is owned by Māori trusts or Māori land incorporations, it is often possible to contact these entities directly. The Māori Land Court’s mapping website (www.maorilandonline.govt.nz) provides information on Māori land that may assist in obtaining permission.
Crown land returned to Māori as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement has general land status rather than Māori land status under the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993. Any pre-existing public access rights are usually preserved.