April 07, 2014
Minister keen to streamline land court
Associate Maori Affairs Minister Chris Finlayson says legislation overhauling Te Ture Whenua Maori Land Act won’t be introduced before the election because he wants to get the detail right.
An expert review panel report released last week recommended changes including allowing decisions on governance on utilisation of land to be made by a majority of those who turn up for meetings, rather than having to track down a majority of owners.
Mr Finlayson says he is still consulting on what needs to be done, but there seems to be consensus that the existing 20-year-old bill is too restrictive.
He says the Maori Land Court needs to evolve.
"Frankly there are a lot of decisions they make that could be made administratively. It's no different to some of the reforms that werre enacted 30 years ago with the High Court, so that many of the decisions that people used to have to go to court and get permission to do in the course of say a case in the High Court, the rules of the court were changed so that people could get on with it and do it themselves," Mr Finlayson says.
The court also needed new powers to play a role in the situations arising out of treaty settlements.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MINISTER CHRIS FINLAYSON CLICK ON THE LINK
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