April 05, 2013
Ahi kaa given weight in proposed law
The Māori Trustee says new ways need to be found to allow Māori to have a say in what happens to their land.
An expert review panel will soon start consulting on proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act, including giving what it calls engaged owners, the people who turn up to meetings, more leeway to make decisions on land use.
Jamie Tuuta, whose office administers 100,000 hectares of Māori land on behalf of owners, says the proposals are in line with Māori principles.
“We might have a whakapapa right – but it’s really about a person exercising and discharging that responsibility and that right. Many of our people are not living in a traditional rural community, so what are the mechanisms or the channels of engagement to enable people to participate in decision-making,” he says.
Jamie Tuuta says anything that gets Māori land working for its owners is positive.
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