Back to Maori and Pasifika Services: MLCMBI
About the Māori Land Court Minute Books Index

The Māori Land Court Minute Books Index (MLCMBI) contains over 90,000 records and indexes over 1100 minute books between 1865 and 1910, from the Taitokerau, Waikato-Maniapoto, Tairawhiti, Waiariki, Aotea, Takitimu, and Waipounamu Māori Land Court Districts.

The Māori Land Court Minute Books Database has been developed and produced with thanks to the substantial financial contribution given by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.

Further acknowledgements are also be extended to the following people for their contributions in the production of this database: John Laurie, Sandra Faulkner, Chris Szekely, Jock Walker, Narelle Scollay, Stephen Innes, Gail Dallimore, Jane McRae, Robin Hakopa, Maurice Alemann, Steven Webster, Clare Linzey, Sue Watson, Jenny Barnett, Dave Keet and Linda Winterburn.

The development of the Maori Land Court Minute Books Database started as an indexing project in 1993. It was initiated by the University of Auckland Assistant Librarian for Maori Studies, John Laurie and New Zealand and Pacific Collection Librarian, Stephen Innes. The project was begun due to the lack of a comprehensive index to the minute books and in response to comments regarding the difficulty in locating information in these books from Maori land researchers. Consequently, a committee of researchers and Maori librarians from Auckland libraries was set up to develop and produce the index.

Support was obtained from the Maori Studies Department at the University of Auckland, Te Puni Kokiri, the Maori Land Court itself and the Waitangi Tribunal. The committee lodged an application to the Lottery Grants Board for funds to employ a full-time indexer. The application was successful and work on the index commenced in earnest in September, 1994. Sandra Falconer indexed the main part of the minute books, John Laurie worked through a significant portion and Clare Linzay indexed the rest.

Input from Auckland researchers was also considered in the development of the database. In particular, errors found in the database where names were misread by the indexers or written down incorrectly by the Court clerks in the first place, have been corrected where known. The Maori Land Court at Hamilton provided a list of blocks in the Waikato-Maniapoto district which was extremely useful in this regard.

The minute books from the Taitokerau, Waikato-Maniapoto, Waiariki, Aotea, Tairawhiti, Takitimu and Waipounamu districts from 1865 to 1910 comprise the main part of the database. This portion was completed in 1996. Since that time, records have also been added for judges' minute books (held by the University of Auckland Library on microfilm), Papatupu Block Committee minute books, Compensation Court minute books and Maori Land Council/Maori Land Board minute books for the Taitokerau and Tairawhiti districts. This part of the database was completed in 1999 by John Laurie.

In 1996, the following districts (followed by the number of floppy disks they were copied to) were made available for purchase by individuals, groups or organisations: Taitokerau(2), Waikato-Maniapoto(3), Waiariki(3), Tai Rawhiti(2) and Aotea(4 or 5). The price was $NZD12.00 per disk. Records show that a Mr. P. McBurney from Herne Bay was the first individual to purchase two districts, the Kearoa Tuara Claim Committee were the first land claim body to purchase one district and the Crown Law Office, Wellington was the first government organisation to purchase four districts, in January, February and March of 1996 respectively.

In 1998, the Takitimu and Te Waipounamu districts were completed and also made available for purchase on floppy disk at the same price set in 1996. The large database files were compacted and reproduced so that the cost for a copy of all seven districts on database was reduced to $NZD144.00 plus the software disk $NZD12.00 totaling $156.00. In 2000, John Laurie merged all of the seven Land Court district files into one database named Aotearoa. In May 2001, it was decided that the distribution of the in index on floppy disk should be migrated CD-ROM. Version one of the MLCMB Index on CD-ROM was available for purchase in June 2002 for $36.00, however, shortly after the first few CD-ROMs were sold, the price was increased to $56.25 to attempt to recover the cost of staff time that went into the migration developments. In July 2001, developments started on version two and all sales of CD-ROMs ceased until the CD-ROM was completed. Version two now ready for purchase at $75 each from The University of Auckland Library. Finally, in February 2006, the first publicly available online version of the index was made available via Knowledge Basket. Purchase and subscription details for medium to large institutions (within NZ only) are available online.

Publisher: The University of Auckland Library | Te Tumu Herenga

File Last updated: 21 January, 2014