LAWPUBL 427 - Māori Land Law

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Second Semester
Contact hours: Lectures – 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Jayden Houghton
Co-requisite: LAW 301

Course description

Tēnā koutou katoa. This course examines historical and contemporary issues concerning Māori land over four distinct, but overlapping parts. First, we discuss Māori customary law and colonial ideas about land. Secondly, we outline the impact of colonisation and settlement on Māori land, and how the state acquired Māori land, including through purchases and confiscations, and by the operation of the Native Land Court. Thirdly, we consider, with a focus on practical challenges and solutions, contemporary issues under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993, including claims to customary title; the effects of indefeasibility on the ownership of Māori land; the alienation of Māori land; applications to change the status of Māori land to general land; mediation and representation issues; the transfer of shares in Māori land from a deceased owner to their descendants or beneficiaries; the operation of Māori land trusts and incorporations; and the valuation and rating of Māori land. We also review Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill 2016, the role of the Māori Land Court in the post-settlement era, and ideas about how owners might effectively utilise Māori land. Finally, we discuss the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty claims relating to land and rivers, including Te Urewera, the Waikato River and the Whanganui River.

The course will be co-taught by Judge Layne Harvey (Ngāti Awa, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu) of the Māori Land Court and lecturer Jayden Houghton (Rereahu Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi), and will feature special guest lectures from eminent persons working in the field.


Canvas Quizzes (20%)

You will take Canvas quizzes as the course progresses. There will be 8 quizzes available to take. Your best 4 quizzes will contribute to your final grade at a weighting of 5% per quiz for a total of 20% towards your final grade.

Essay (30%)

You will have a choice of questions and answer one question. The word limit for the essay is 2,250 words. The essay is due on Monday 7 October at 12 noon.

Exam (40%/50%)

The final exam is 2 hours and open book.

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Note: The lecturers are mindful that this course has not been offered recently. To help students prepare for the exam, the lecturers will provide students with mock exam papers that will indicate the format of the exam and the kinds of questions which students can expect to find in the exam.

Optional Assessment: Learning Resources (10%)

Students may choose to design 2 x learning resources to help students study Māori Land Law​. At least one of the resources will be a multiple choice quiz based on one of the course readings. The quiz will provide 12 questions with 4 options per question and justify why each option is correct or incorrect. The other resource may be a multiple choice quiz or something more innovative with the approval of the course coordinator. The resources will be equally weighted and assessed on their overall quality as a learning resource — in particular, the correctness of the information presented and the usefulness of the resource to help students study Māori Land Law. The resources will be shared anonymously with the full class to help all students with exam revision.

If a student submits 2 x resources for the optional assessment they are eligible for plussage. If the student is eligible for plussage, the mark for the exam and optional assessment will be calculated by: EITHER optional assessment (10%) and exam (40%); OR exam (50%); whichever results in the higher grade.