April 03, 2013
Rating justice key to land use
Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson says any overhaul of Māori land law needs to include a hard look at the local government rating system.
A ministerial review panel had proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act which will be taken out for public consultation.
At the same time the Ministry for Primary Development had identified an $8 billion shortfall in the productive capacity of Māori land, which it says the proposed changes could address.
But Parekura Horomia says there are other structural barriers that Māori owners face.
“Most Māori land is never sold and yet it is rated the same value as the farmer next door who sells their land. How come in Porangahau, the section that the families have been on for years, all of a sudden become worth half a million dollars and still not sell the land. They will however have to raise the finance to pay the equivalent rates,” he says.
Parekura Horomia says the race to extract corporate dollars from land may mean some of its other values can be forgotten.
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