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Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

2 April 2024 – The Māori Land Court recently released a practice note in regard to lending on Māori freehold land – whenua Māori. The note provides guidance to assist landowners, lawyers and the banking sector with lending against Māori freehold land.

As we noted in our Issues Paper on Improving Māori Access to Capital, Te Ture Whenua Act 1993 protects whenua from being taken from Māori ownership, however it can add a layer of complexity when accessing capital to develop that land. The practice note helps to clarify the steps required when dealing with whenua Māori and hopefully reduces one of these barriers to accessing capital.

“This practice note outlines some of the nuances of lending on whenua Māori and will contribute to the broader Māori Access to Capital work that spans the banking sector, government and iwi. We are encouraged to see some retail banks picking up the wero and working with Māori to lend on whenua Māori. We look forward to seeing continued progress in this space” Assistant Governor/General Manager Strategy, Governance and Sustainability Simone Robbers says.

The RBNZ has added the practice note guidance to our website which you can view here.

More information

Tuhinga Ārahi – Nama Pūtea mā Whenua Māori, Practice Note for Lending on Whenua Māori on the Māori Land Court website
Practice Note for Lending on Whenua Māori on the RBNZ website