April 04, 2013
Creative solutions sought for land issues
One of the members of an expert panel looking at Māori land law wants people making submissions to try to find creative solutions for some long-standing problems in the sector.
Regional hui will be held over the next couple of months on proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act.
The major change is letting decisions on land use be made by those owners who turn up to the meetings, rather than have projects stall because a majority of shareholders can't be contacted.
Dion Tuuta, who is Chief Executive of Taranaki's Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation, says the 20-year old law has been effective in helping Māori hold on to their remaining land, but not so good when it comes to developing it.
He says the review is a chance to create a law for current conditions.
“Everybody sort of knows what the general issues are and everybody knows that fragmentation is an issue. Have we got any pragmatic solutions to these things which are not going to disenfranchise everybody or do we need to look at ownership in a new way? Come with an open mind with solutions that we can hopefully take back and get the government to consider,” Dion Tuuta says.
About 1.4 million hectares or around 5 percent of the total land in New Zealand is administered under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act.
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