September 25, 2012
Maori Land Court fees to rise
The Government wants to hike fees for the Maori Land Court as part of a move to raise cost recovery across all civil courts and tribunals to 20 percent.
Courts Minister Chester Borrows says he wants a fee structure that is easy to understand, ensures those who benefit from the courts contribute to their costs, and protects access to justice.
The consultation document released yesterday says the total cost of running the Maori Land Court last year was almost $25 million, but total fee revenue was only $160,000, or less than 1 percent.
It proposes to drop the fee for succession, trust and general registry activities down slightly to $60, because the applications promote the retention and utilisation of land and contribute to the upkeep of the court record.
But it says Court-assisted civil dispute resolution, title improvement and other complex applications are resource intensive, so fees should rise to $200.
Fees for appeals to the Maori Appellate Court would cost more than quadruple to $550, in line with fees for the Employment and Environment Courts.