Advancing the interests of Māori land owners

Published: Fri 18 Sep 2015 08:23 AM
Advancing the interests of Māori land owners
The current Ture Whenua Māori reform will give Māori land owners greater rangatiratanga (authority) over their own land.
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says the land reform will both protect the retention of Māori land and make it easier for owners to make decisions about their whenua.
“The kōrero going around that the Māori land reform is some kind of ‘land grab’ is malicious scare-mongering. The current land laws aren’t working for most Māori land owners and they need to change”, says Mrs Fox.
“Rangatiratanga over our taonga including our whenua is what we have being fighting for since the 1970s so I don’t understand why some opposition MPs are against Māori land owners having more control of their land. The recurring theme from some opposition MPs is that they have no faith in our people to manage their own affairs.”
Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell who is leading the reform says he’s taking a cautious approach to the most significant legislative reform of Māori land since 1993 and that is why he released an exposure draft bill for consultation before it is introduced into the House.
“The consultation undertaken earlier this year has allowed people to share their views and that feedback will help strengthen the Bill”, he says.
Mr Flavell asked officials and the Ture Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group to consider carefully all feedback on the exposure draft including the 400 written submissions received last month.
“I understand the importance of getting the balance right between loosening the paternalistic restrictions on Māori owned land without endangering its retention.”
Extensive consultation on the Bill has been ongoing since 2013 and will continue once the Ture Whenua Reform Bill is introduced into Parliament next year.

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