Property Problems: Maori sites can influence resource consents

Monday 6 September 2004

Q. I heard about a person who bought a block of land only to discover, when he applied for resource consent, that where he wanted to put his new house was a former pa site. I am about to buy a large block of rural land. How do I know whether local Maori have any interests in the land?

A. Whether land is significant to Maori is just one of the various features of any part

By The Landlord

icular property that may affect its development potential.

The difficulty is identifying any Maori interests before you propose to develop the land.

This issue is most likely to arise in the context of the Resource Management Act 1991. When assessing applications for resource consent to develop your land, the local council must consider the relationship Maori have with "waahi tapu" (areas of cultural or traditional importance), their ancestral lands, waters and other significant sites.

These considerations can, in some cases, justify a resource consent being declined, or granted subject to conditions to address the effects on Maori.

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