Splitting the atom of communal land tenure, with specific reference to Māori freehold land.
This article begins by contextualizing Māori Freehold Land (MFL) within a wider global debate on communal land that is in transition to more individualised forms of tenure. A comparison is made between Ngai Tahu MFL and another case of transitional communal land, in Zimbabwe. One conclusion is that, for many Ngai Tahu Māori, general land and the State now cater for shelter, sustenance and other functions formerly supported by MFL, while remaining MFL now handles disproportionately more of the cultural functions and interpersonal ties that are generally divorced from “western” tenure forms. This raises the question of whether MFL should now be managed with an emphasis on fulfilling those functions not met by formal, individualised tenure, and if so, how this should best be achieved in practice.
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
Keywords: Communal tenure; Land tenure; Maori Freehold land; Transitional tenure
Research Type: Journal Article