Section 27A of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 requires a memorial (a formal notation or record) be placed on all titles to Crown land transferred to any state-owned enterprises under that Act. The effect of such a memorial is that under s27B, the Waitangi Tribunal can in specified circumstances order the Crown to take back or 'resume' a property to be used in settling a Treaty claim, unless the Crown and claimant groups first agree on a settlement. There is provision for similar memorials to be noted on the titles of former Crown railway land, and land transferred by the Crown to tertiary educational institutions.
These memorials remain on the titles even if they are sold to third parties, and are not removed until claims over the area concerned have been settled, or affected Māori groups agree to their removal. The memorial warns third parties that the property may be used for settling Treaty claims through resumption by the Crown. If this happens, compensation is paid as if the property were being acquired under the Public Works Act 1981.
It is important to discuss with a council subdivision officer or legal adviser, any proposals involving a site with a s27A memorandum.
An applicant proposing to develop or purchase land with a s27A memorandum should be advised to seek legal advice.