October 15, 2015
Maori land not a commodity
Labour’s primary industries spokesperson Meka Whaitiri says it beggars belief the government wants to prevent the Waitangi Tribunal from hearing what Maori Land Court judges think of a proposed new Maori land law.
Crown Law is trying to keep a highly critical 163-page submission on the draft Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill out of the official record of the tribunal investigation into the reform process.
Ms Whaitiri says the tribunal needs to hear both from the judges, who have the most experience working with the Maori land issues, and the Law Commission, which had a major input into the 1993 Act.
She says land and language define Maori.
"We view land through our tikanga very differently to Pakeha people, ie our whenua is not a commodity, it's part and parcel of who we are. Which is why if you look at the original Te Ture Whenua 1993, it took them 17 years to work on that piece of legislation. So that shows the complexity and the consideration required if you are going to do any major changes to Maori whenua," she says.
Meka Whaitiri says Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill sees the only value in Maori land as what it can contribute to National’s economic agenda.
TO READ THE SUBMISSIONS CLICK ON THE LINK
Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill Submission of the Judges of the Māori Land Court
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com