Supreme Court - Te Kōti Mana Nui
Trustees - conflicts of interest - Fenwick v Naera  NZSC 68 - Craig Linkhorn
Māori Land Court - Te Kōti Whenua Māori
Costs - Court declined to award costs - ongoing relationship - Trustees of Te Ngae Farm Trust v Trustees of the Ngāti Rangiteaorere Koromatua Council - Te Ngae Farm Trust (2015) 133 Waiariki MB 58 (133 WAR 58)
Status of land - ceasing to be Crown land on vesting - The Māori Trustee - Pt Sec 1 Blk 1 Punakitere SD (2016) 124 Taitokerau MB 231 (124 TTK 231)
Trusts - removal of trustees - threshold for removal not met - Peters v Foster - Hereheretau B2J8 and B2K2B (2015) 54 Tairawhiti MB 147 (54 TRW 147)
Title reconstruction and improvement – water easement granted - Wihone - Panguru A16 & others (2016) 123 Taitokerau MB 199 (123 TTK 199)
Survey - requisition dismissed - McIlroy-Haig - Waipiro MT Sec.5 Blk X (2016) 55 Tairawhiti MB 24 (55 TRW 24)
Resource Management - Ngā Whakahaere Rauemi
Māori interests in natural resource management - 2015 in review by Annie O'Connor and Dave Randal
Legislation - Ngā Whakaturetanga
Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill - Toni Love
Book review - Arotakena pukapuka
The Native Land Court - a historical study, cases and commentary - volume 2 - Dr Carwyn Jones
Second Referendum on the New Zealand Flag - result and Māori voter turnout - Emerald UnRuh
Download the Māori Law Review April 2016 (625 KB PDF)
Fenwick v Naera
Supreme Court  NZSC 68
20 May 2015
Some of the beneficiaries of the Whakapoungakau 24 Ahu Whenua Trust objected to their trustees entering into a joint venture to establish a geothermal power station. These beneficiaries challenged the trustees’ power to enter into the agreement. They were unsuccessful in the Māori Land Court and in the Māori Appellate Court. On appeal to the Court of Appeal, their appeal was allowed on one issue (whether the courts below had addressed trustee conflicts of interest appropriately). The Court of Appeal decided to send the case back to the Māori Land Court for further hearing on that issue. The trustees obtained leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on the conflict of interest issue.
Held: The Supreme Court allowed the trustees' appeal in part. The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal that one of the trustees was disqualified from voting on whether to enter the joint venture because of beneficial interests she held. The Supreme Court disagreed with the Court of Appeal on what the remedy should be where s 227A is breached. Section 227A of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 prohibits trustees participating in many decisions on issues they have interests in and is labelled by the common law a rule against self-dealing. The Court of Appeal had found the consequence was automatic setting aside of the challenged decision of trustees (at the request of a beneficiary) subject to the interests of innocent third parties. The Supreme Court decided instead that the Māori Land Court has the power to decide what the consequences are where prohibited self-dealing is established and s 227A is breached.
The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Māori Land Court to decide the consequences, including whether new trustees should decide what to do as a result of Mrs Fenwick's breach of the self-dealing rule.
William Young J differed from the other members of the court on the issue of the procedure the Māori Land Court should follow when the matter was referred back to it.
Download Fenwick v Naera  NZSC 68 (951 KB PDF). read more
The Māori Trustee - Pt Sec 1 Blk 1 Punakitere SD
Māori Land Court (2016) 124 Taitokerau MB 231 (124 TTK 231)
9 February 2016
The Court determined the land in question ceased to be Crown land once vested in the Māori Trustee under s 437 of the Māori Affairs Act 1953.
Trustees of Te Ngae Farm Trust v Trustees of the Ngāti Rangiteaorere Koromatua Council - Te Ngae Farm Trust
Māori Land Court (2015) 133 Waiariki MB 58 (133 WAR 58)
15 December 2015
Although the Ngāti Rangiteaorere Koromatua Council appeared to be entitled to an award of costs as the clearly successful party, the Court considered that an award of costs would not assist ongoing relationships within the hapū and that costs should therefore lie where they fall.
Wihone - Panguru A16 & others
Māori Land Court (2016) 123 Taitokerau MB 199 (123 TTK 199)
29 January 2016
Application for water easement granted. Second application for right of use of roadway adjourned.
Peters v Foster - Hereheretau B2J8 and B2K2B
Māori Land Court (2015) 54 Tairawhiti MB 147 (54 TRW 147)
11 December 2015
The Applicant sought to remove two trustees of the Hereheretau B2J8 and Hereheretau B2K2B ahu whenua trusts. The application was dismissed. The threshold for removal had not been made out.
McIlroy-Haig - Waipiro MT Sec.5 Blk X
Māori Land Court (2016) 55 Tairawhiti MB 24 (55 TRW 24)
19 January 2016
The parties returned to Court to finalise an agreement about surveying their land to give effect to a partition. The Court dismissed the application stating that more investigation was required before a decision could be made.
Download McIlroy-Haig - Waipiro MT Sec.5 Blk X (191 KB PDF) here.
Second Referendum on the New Zealand Flag
Result announced 30 March 2016
The Electoral Commission released the final results for the second referendum on the New Zealand flag on 30 March 2016. A majority of voters favoured keeping the existing New Zealand flag. Voter turnout was lower overall in Māori than in non-Māori electorates.
Annie O'Connor and Dave Randal from Buddle Findlay review legal developments from 2015 relating to Māori interests in natural resources. read more
The Native Land Court – A Historical Study, Cases and Commentary, (Vol. 2: 1888-1909)
Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2015 (xv + 1145 pages, ISBN 978-0-86472-921-7)
Reviewed by Dr Carwyn Jones, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington. read more