Ngā Whenua Kahupapa Hai Tiaki i ngā Rotomoana

Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) is now looking for approval from landowners to install pipes required to connect properties to the new treatment plant.

There are over 100 whenua Māori that have been identified in the Whenua Māori Project where essential infrastructure is required to be laid. Because of the special status of whenua Māori, council have established a team to assist owners of whenua Māori, with support from the Ngāti Pikiao Cultural impacts Team.

Research has been conducted to identify landowners, and the Māori Land Court records show that ownership of the affected whenua Māori ranges from solely owned, to more than 600 owners. There are trusts and trustees for some (but not all) of the multiply owned land

Whenua Māori ownership categories

Council will engage kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face to face) with each landowner, trust or governance group to share information, answer questions and talk about options for the installation of the infrastructure. The aim is to come to an agreement allows council to install, maintain and repair the system.

To find out if you’re an owner in any of the land blocks take a look at the list below. Each link will take you directly to the Māori Land Online website which lists the names of owners in each block.

Maori Land blocks

Māori Land Court
The Māori Land Court has been engaged in the project for a number of years and will be available to help landowners work through the application and court process. It is important to note that the Māori Land Court does not provide legal advice.


RLC held three hui-ā-hapū with Māori land owners and trustees in October 2020 to begin engagement. These hui were be facilitated by Arapeta Tahana and were intended to provide Māori land owners and trustees with an overview of the scheme, the infrastructure required on some Māori land to connect local properties, and, the process RLC will undertake with Māori land owners/ trustees to seek approval to install this infrastructure.

If you weren’t able to attend the hui-ā-hapū you can view the minutes and presentations here:




What are Māori roadways?

Māori roadways are roadways created by the Māori Land Court usually during the partition of a larger whenua Māori block to provide access to the other or newly formed blocks.
Identified in the whenua Māori project were 18 roadways with owners that cannot be located or have no known governance structures. At the time of partition owners were not attached to the roadway and no order determining status was given.
To seek approval to install the infrastructure on those blocks, council (with the owners) will need to undertake an additional process through the Māori Land Court.

What is an Agreement?

Generally, the agreement will provide for:
a) Council and the appointed contractor to access your property and install the infrastructure;
b) Council and any appointed contractor to have reasonable ongoing access to your property for repairs and maintenance; 
c) A portion of the land where the pipe is installed to be kept free of any permanent structures to enable access for repairs and maintenance. Anything that can be reinstated (such as a driveway or garden) is okay.
The landowner and Council will need to be agree on the terms and conditions of the agreement. All agreements executed between landowners and Council will be noted against the memorial schedule in each block file.

What types of authority can be granted?

For this project the Council would seek an easement, a lease, or a licence which would give a right for Council to access and use land.

What would the Council seek in the authority?

Council would seek the same purpose, land area and term for an easement, a lease, or a licence:
• Purpose of the easement, lease or licence:
o Allow Council (or its contractors) to enter onto, use or access part of a land block to install and maintain wastewater pipes.
o Council would not have the right to enter, use or access the property for any other reason.
• Land area for the easement, lease or licence:
o Council would seek approximately 3 metres for the easement, lease or licence (subject to agreement).
o You would be able to negotiate with Council on the exact placement of the easement, lease or licence (and the pipes).
• Term for the easement, lease or licence:
o 50 years
o The same period of time specified in the easement for the wastewater treatment plant.

What are the key differences between a lease, licence and easement?

• Easement:
o It does not give the Council an interest in the land.
o It is usually not an exclusive right to the land.
• Lease:
o Would give council an interest in the land that can be registered as a leasehold title.
o Usually gives exclusive rights to the leaseholder.
• Licence:
o Does not give council an interest in the land, and is usually not an exclusive right.

Do I need a lawyer?

All landowners can seek independent legal advice if they wish to.

What happens if I don’t consent?

Without landowners’ consent, council cannot install the wastewater pipes. This may lead to enforcement action by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Will I be compensated?

Compensation may be payable where there is “injurious effect” (where there is a significant impact on or where it limits use of the land).

Will the Māori Land Court process cost me anything?

Applications for agreements (easements/lease/licence) will be covered by Rotorua Lakes Council.

For all background information relating to this scheme visit: East Rotoiti & Rotomā sewerage scheme or for specific enquiries contact Patricia Waugh on