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No. 5 (Spring 1953)
– 61 –

Disposal of Interests on Death:

The new Bill again contains important changes, chiefly concerning succession and disposal of interests of a deceased owner of Maori land. The new provisions give a greater degree of responsibility and discretion to the Maori Land Court. The proposals are, briefly, as follows:


The interests in Maori land of a deceased owner do not vest in the Maori Trustee or any other person until orders are made by the Court.


On application to the Court by any person interested or by the Registrar or Maori Trustee the Court determines as at present, the persons entitled to succeed.


The Court then goes on to dispose of the interests and may, without application, make exchanges, or give effect to agreements among successors or use any of its general powers. Interests not affected by arrangements or exchanges, etc., go to the successors.


The Court in disposing of the interests as above, is not to vest in any person an interest which together with his other interests in the same land is not in the Court's opinion of a value greater than £50 unless


the interest has been specifically left to that person in the will of the deceased; or


the interest, together with other interests of that person could, in the Court's view, be partitioned out to provide a worthwhile section for building or other purposes and is likely to be used in this way within a reasonable time.


If an interest cannot otherwise be disposed of as above, because of its value or because no arrangement is possible, the Court is to vest it in the Maori Trustee for the Conversion Fund, at a price fixed by the Court, but the Maori Trustee is not bound to accept such an interest. If he does not, it goes to the successors or as may be agreed by them.