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Te Reo Newsletter Part 3

The Māori  Land Court Minute Books (MLCMB) and its online index  ( contain a wealth of iwi history, te reo Rangatira and whakapapa.  I would consider them one of the most valuable resources to have come from post signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

A Native Land Court was set up in 1865 to award titles and partition surveyed blocks of Māori land. It also confirmed successors to individual owners, which was a tactic used by the government to acquire Māori land owned by multiple owners.  Dealing with many title owners was risky and posed many challenges when trying to secure ownership of blocks. The Court was renamed the Māori Land Court in 1954.

The minutes of each of the Māori Land Court proceedings were kept as an official record and are captures in bound minute books or microform.  At each proceeding (sitting) whaanau were asked to relay their connection to either the land block in question or to whom they were succeeding.  At one point you did not need to verify your connection to the whenua – an additional way land was lost. Maps, adoptions, Searching the books can be tricky. The MLCMB Index is an index to search the minute books, information for cases heard between 1865 and 1910 are held in these historical records.

The Poukōkiri Rangahau Māori( are available for one-on-one sessions navigating this resource.  Do visit the site and do a search.  The most important information to record and bring to us or the Māori Land Court is the Minute book number and the pages to search, the rest the Pou can help you with!

I’ll go into further depth over the next few newsletters. They deserve the time.

Mauri Ora ki a koutou.


Te Reo MEI/MAY 2021 Vol. 28 Issue #2 of 4