Connecting the next generation to their whenua
In 2011 we launched My Whenua. This online portal provides owners of Māori land that we manage with access to information relating to their land.
This includes maps, reports to owners and other trust details that were previously only available at meetings of owners. Since that launch, over 8,000 Māori landowners have registered for the service.
Around 10% of Māori landowners live overseas. And many more than that live away from the whenua, so keeping up to date with the administration of the whenua can be challenging.
In March 2019 we launched a new and improved My Whenua. This updated site makes it easier for owners, trustees and whānau to stay connected to their whenua from anywhere in the world.
We’ve used the latest technology to improve My Whenua. The new features and improvements were made, based on feedback from owners and registered users over the last five years.
My Whenua now mobile-friendly
One major improvement to My Whenua was to make the site mobile friendly.
“Over 40% of visits to our website are from people using mobile devices, so making sure My Whenua is accessible on all devices was important,” says Te Tumu Paeroa Communications Manager Sara Passmore.
It’s also important that future generations of owners are able to connect to their whenua. One of the upgrades involved granting access to whānau connected to the whenua.
“The feedback we received from owners was that they’d love to share information from My Whenua with their whānau. While the person who succeeded to the land is legally the owner, the whenua is still something that’s really important to the entire whānau. It’s a great tool for owners. But it’s also vital that the next generation – those future owners – are able to engage with the land at an early stage.”
Improving the system
A number of other significant updates were made to the service. These include providing the latest GIS mapping for each block, providing the ability to RSVP to meetings of owners via My Whenua, and notifications about lease and trust updates.
Following the launch of these updates, we’ve received some encouraging feedback from owners. One My Whenua user – Te Uta Roretana – sent this message:
“A big heads up for the new site. (It) looks absolutely fab. The one-page dashboard is cool (and you) can hook into whatever you want at a glance.”
The Māori Trustee, Dr Charlotte Severne, says “we’ve invested in a secure online platform for Māori landowners, trustees and whānau to engage with their whenua. This is about making it easy to stay informed and connected – no matter where you live.”
If you'd like to sign up to My Whenua, you can do that here.