A recent publication by the New Zealand Maori Council expressed a "need" for separate planning controls for Maori land. This work sets out to determine whether legislative change to provide for separate controls is in fact justified. The relationship of the Maori people and their culture and traditions with their ancestral land, means that firstly, marae and urupa are of paramount importance to the Maori people and that their establishment and further development is energetically pursued; and secondly, that there is a strong desire to establish housing in conjunction with the marae complex in order to fulfil the traditional concept of "ahi ka". As working manifestations of the existing planning legislation, district scheme controls in the coastal Bay of Plenty are investigated and their adequacy in catering for the abovementioned relationship and its implications, determined. Marae and urupa are the subject of different special or single purpose planning provisions in the Whakatane District and Tauranga County district schemes. These provisions operate to ultimately permit the establishment and further development of marae and urupa and to permit the development of housing around the marae complex to a level that has satisfied the local communities. Maori land not associated with a marae or urupa is largely zoned for "rural" purposes, but there is no evidence to suggest that the land is used differently to general land, or that there is a desire to alter this situation. It is concluded therefore that the existing planning legislation can satisfactorily provide for the needs and desires of the Maori people. Extensive legislative change is therefore unnecessary.