December 21, 2015
Flavell keen for owners to take contol
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says his reform of Maori land law should make it easier for Maori to manage their own land, rather than leave it with the Maori Trustee Office.
The office, which has rebranded itself as Te Tumu Paeroa is conducting its own reform of its activities, managing about 100,000 hectares of Maori land.
Historically those blocks have been the hardest to get an economic return from, or where there are problems finding sufficient owners to take them on.
Mr Flavell says Maori Trustee Jamie Tuuta is doing a good job in expanding his role and supporting other Maori ventures, but more changes are needed.
"I think the biggest concern and it seems to come through time and time again, is I suppose the fear on the part of some who have land with the Trustee that they cannot get their hands on. Hopefully with the reforms with the Ture Whenua it opens the door up for those to form appropriate bodies that might be able to take up the land holdings provided they can find all the people that are associated with those pieces of land," he says.
Te Ururoa Flavell endorsed Te Tumu Paeroa’s new investment in an Opotiki kiwifruit packing business, which is part of a strategy of increasing the revenue from some of the Maori land in the area.
The Waitangi Tribunal is considering a claim against Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, which claimants say will prejudicially affect Maori landowners.
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