February 09, 2016
Land hui uneasy at rush to reform
The Government's reform of Maori land law could be in for a tough ride if the first of the latest round of information hui is an indicator.
The hui in south Auckland drew about 100 people keen to hear what shape Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill was taking.
In a video presentation, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said the new draft he intends to introduce next month includes more than 100 changes and additions made as a result of submissions.
This includes dropping a requirement that all existing land trusts and incorporations move to the new rangatopu trust format, and allowing people to negotiate with their whanau about succeeding to land when someone dies without a will, rarther than having the shares put automatically into a new whananu trust.
Cabinet has agreed to major changes that will require more work on rating and valuation of Maori land, access to landlocked Maori land, paper roads, and changing the Public Works Act.
Work also needs to be done on the shape of the Maori Land Service that will take over administration now done by Maori Land Court staff.
Hui participants questioned why the law was being completely rewritten.
The hui also moved a motion, with only three objections, calling for the government to heed the finding of the Waitangi Tribunal there is not as yet sufficient Maori support for the bill to proceed, and its recommendation there be a lot more consultation.
There's another hui at Kingsgate Hotel in Hamilton this evening, in Taupo and Rotorua tomorrow, and around the country over the next three weeks.
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