Māori Business | Te Paringa Tai

Kua huri te tai | The tide has turned

The narrative underpinning Te Paringa Tai is linked to the whakataukī - kua huri te tai - which means 'the tide has turned'. For our Māori Business Unit, Te Paringa Tai means the incoming tide - and represents the shift in energy, both in society and within the firm, to support and empower kaupapa Māori and Māori aspirations for success.

Ko te kōrero e noho tūāpapa ana ki Te Paringa Tai ko te whakataukī - kua huri te tai. Mō tō mātou Rōpū Pakihi Māori, ko te tikanga o Te Paringa Tai ko te paringa mai o te tai - ā, e whakaatu ana i te huringa o te ngao, i te pāpori me te tari, ki te tautoko me te whakamana i ngā kaupapa Māori me ngā wawata angitu o ngāi Māori.

Through Te Paringa Tai, we provide expert legal and strategic advice that is grounded in tikanga Māori, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Accordingly, we are a group of lawyers committed to values, including, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, rangatiratanga and hāponotanga, in everything we do.

Mā Te Paringa Tai, ka tuku mātou i ngā kōrero āwhina ā-rautaki e whai ana i ngā tikanga Māori me Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Waihoki, he tira rōia mātou e ū ana ki ngā uaratanga pēnei i te whanaungatanga, te manaakitanga, te rangatiratanga me te hāponotanga, i roto i ā mātou mahi katoa.

Te Paringa Tai | The Incoming Tide

Te Paringa Tai is Simpson Grierson’s specialist Māori business group. Te Paringa Tai works across Simpson Grierson to help our colleagues understand the importance of tikanga Māori in working with Māori and non-Māori organisations. 

Through Te Paringa Tai we navigate carefully the intersection of Māori interests and values (cultural, spiritual, environmental and commercial) and other interests, to provide optimal outcomes for all parties.

Te Paringa Tai is led by partner Nick Wilson and consultant Gerald Lanning.

Ā Mātau Ratonga Ture | Our Services 

We ensure that the very best lawyers are brought together to assist our clients dealing with the unique opportunities and challenges facing Māori entities.

By partnering with Māori entities, we take the time to listen and understand our clients' kaupapa and work to co-develop solutions that align with their cultural, social, environmental and economic aspirations and values. 

Acknowledging the unique opportunities and challenges that face Māori entities and landowners in pursuing economic development, we are dedicated to support Māori in unlocking the potential in their whenua, and asset base, to achieve transformative outcomes for whānau, hapū and iwi. 

We also advise Government, Local Government and the private sector on the way in which evolving Treaty of Waitangi|Te Tiriti o Waitangi jurisprudence and commercial/societal expectations relating to Treaty principles affect their business practices. We regularly advise organisations on the intersection between tikanga and the law, effective Māori engagement, and partnership opportunities with Māori businesses.

Ko Mātou Prirpono ki Te Ao Māori | Our Commitment to Te Ao Māori 

We know that being excellent as lawyers - for whānau, hapū and iwi - requires more than just knowing the law.

Elevating our capacity and capability in Te Ao Māori is therefore a key focus, which we have committed to in our Ngā Mātāpono o Te Reo Māori o Simpson Grierson. Our principles value te reo Māori as a core pillar to enhance our relationship with tāngata whenua, and are key to promoting and encouraging the learning of te reo Māori through internal and external education opportunities.

We have a deep respect for te reo, tikanga, kawa and mātāpono Māori, and have endeavoured to embed these throughout our service delivery. This includes embracing values such as whakawhanaungatanga (building relationships), manaakitanga (supporting others, generosity), rangatiratanga (leadership), hāponotanga (authenticity) and kaitiakitanga (stewardship and guardianship).These values inform the way we work together as a group, with our colleagues across Simpson Grierson and with clients.

Ko Mātou Pūkenga | Our Expertise

With a proud history of being trusted advisors to Māori organisations, our team of specialists draw on a wealth of experience in:

•    Corporate and Commercial Law
•    Planning and Resource Management
•    Natural Resources (Water, Forestry, Carbon Farming and ETS issues)
•    Renewable Energy Generation (Geothermal, Green Hydrogen Solar and Wind)
•    Charitable Trusts and Tax Structuring
•    Indigenous Intellectual Property and Mātauranga Māori
•    Māori Land & Te Ture Whenua Māori Act issues
•    Te Tiriti o Waitangi issues
•    Real Estate
•    Dispute Resolution
•    Public law issues

Work Highlights

Ko Mātou Kiritaki | Our Clients

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (TRONT) 

We have collaborated with TRONT on its review of its governance structures, including providing tailored advice through a best practice tikanga Māori based approach. This review included kanohi ki te kanohi interviews with each Board, as well as collective wānanga with all key decision makers. 

We have also advised TRONT on statutory reviews of regional planning documents which address nutrient management and water quality issues.

Waikato-Tainui Group 

We have advised on a range of issues, including commercial, tax, governance, and commercial property matters. This includes assisting Waikato-Tainui in delivering affordable housing to its members through advising on appropriate structures and methods, such as shared equity schemes. 

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA) 

We are a long-time strategic partner to TWoA, advising on a full range of commercial, property, employment, intellectual property and technology/digital issues.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei 

We act on a range of financing, commercial and property issues. 

Whakaata Māori

We have advised Whakaata Māori on various commercial, media, funding and property matters.

Te Hau Ora o Ngāpuhi (THOON) 

We have advised THOON on a number of commercial issues, including a limited partnership in relation to community telehealth services with Whakarongorau (NZ Telehealth Services) and other iwi rōpu, and a mixed housing development (ie social and owner-occupied) in Kaikohe. 

Tūaropaki Trust

We advised Māori geothermal energy provider, Tūaropaki Trust, on a green hydrogen generation joint-venture opportunity with an off-shore participant. We also advised on the implications of the proposed NPS - Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) on its geothermal field.

Forestry | ETS

We have advised Māori forestry owners in relation to the Crown’s failure to adequately consult Māori under the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review.

Auckland Council 

We acted in proceedings that successfully protected wāhi tapu and cultural landscapes important to mana whenua from rezoning and proposed development. 

Auckland Transport 

We advised Auckland Transport in relation to impacts of the Eastern Busway on a Pā site and subsequent agreement with Ngāti Pāoa.

Te Patuwai Hapū

We acted for Te Patuwai Hapū and Ngāti Awa to oppose the proposal to allow the MV Rena to remain on the Astrolabe reef | Ōtaiti in the Bay of Plenty. We acted on a pro bono basis at the Council hearing stage and worked on their appeal - which has now settled.

Regional Council

We advised a regional council on the extent to which a freshwater plan change should provide for Māori landowner interests.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi|Treaty of Waitangi

We have advised on numerous Treaty-related issues including in relation to forming relationships with iwi/hapū and obligations to engage as part of decision-making processes. Examples include:

  • Advising clients on proposals to divest assets.
  • Providing strategic advice to Tauhara North No.2 Trust on Te Tiriti issues
  • Assisting mana whenua groups in Tāmaki Makaurau to establish a kaitiaki forum to advise local government.
  • Advising several local authorities and CCOs on iwi and Māori engagement and their respective Te Tiriti obligations. 
  • Assisting Counties Manukau District Health Board with a Waitangi Tribunal claim, advising on customary rights, engagement with iwi, and Te Tiriti obligations.

Hāpai i te Hāpori | Supporting the Community

We actively support Māori community organisations and individuals through providing pro bono services. In addition to those mentioned above, some of our clients include:

Tahaaroa Lakes Trust

Representing, on a pro bono basis the Trust (and working with related parties including marae and rununga) in relation to submissions on the renewal of resource consents for the Tahaaroa sand mine.


We have a longstanding relationship with TupuToa which assists Māori and Pasifika graduates to find meaningful work in corporate pathways.

Hāpai Te Hauora

We provide pro bono advice to assist Hāpai Te Hauora with its tobacco and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) mahi. We also helped it to remove an online gaming product which included images misappropriated from Māori culture.

Kaumātua Rangi McLean

We provided an important piece of pro bono work relating to the appropriation of an image of Tūhoe kaumatua, Tunuiarangi Rangi McLean. The artwork was successfully removed from an online marketplace within 24 hours of our team sending a cease and desist letter.

Hawaiiki TU

We advised Hawaiki TU Arts Foundation on the establishment and review of its Charitable Trust.

Te Ara Pōtiki Trust

We also advised Te Ara Pōtiki Trust on the establishment of its charitable trust, with the purpose of to supporting and uplifting Māori by promoting pathways to high growth start-ups and technology companies.


Drafting a guide to assist landowners to return their land to Māori.

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