September 27, 2013
NZMC challenges reform bill
The New Zealand Maori Council is asking the Waitangi Tribunal for an urgent hearing on a claim into the way the government is going about its overhaul of the Maori Community Development Act.
Te Puni Kokiri has just completed a month of consultation hui on the proposed changed, with the fate of the council and the future of Maori wardens the main topics of concern among submitters.
The claim says as institutions the council and the wardens are of such significance that any reform needs to be done through direct negotiations between the Crown and Maori, rather than the government calling all the shots.
It says the process failed to acknowledge the constitutional significance of the bodies as representatives of Maori nor their role in developing Maori self-governance.
It says the timing of the reform is also prejudicial since it comes in the middle of the New Zealand Maori Council running a claim in the tribunal a water rights.
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