October 14, 2012
Taranaki incorporation wants Crown help to buy leases
The Chief Executive of Paraninihi ki Waitotara says the Crown should help the Taranaki Maori land incorporation buy out its lessees.
Dion Tuuta says the perpetual lease system imposed by the Crown means most of the remaining Maori land in the province is still farmed by non-Maori.
He says Taranaki Maori are facing further loss of control for generations unless they can pick up the leases when they become available.
“The Crown set up the perpetual leasing system. Our tupuna didn’t ask for it. It was imposed on them. It should be the Crown that funds the acquisition of those leases. The dairy industry as a whole is facing challenges with succession. Here in Taranaki the average age of our lessees is up around 55. They need to be able to find people who are able to buy those leases,” Mr Tuuta says.
Paraninihi ki Waitotara is the natural successor to lessees who want to retire, rather than the farms passing into the hands of some other corporate farmer.