Transferring Māori freehold land by will to persons “related by blood”

Kameta v Nicholas

Court of Appeal [2012] NZCA 350

3 August 2012

A will maker can dispose of a beneficial interest in Māori freehold land to specified classes of people only. One is persons who are both related by blood to the testator and a member of the hapū associated with the land (s 108(2) Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993). The Court of Appeal held that although it is a question of degree, a whakapapa connection within the hapū associated with the land satisfies the statutory requirement to be “related by blood” to a will maker.

The Māori Appellate Court’s collective knowledge of tikanga and specialist expertise means it enjoys a particular advantage in determining questions of fact that the Court of Appeal will respect.

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