February 15, 2016
Tribunal behind the play says minister
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has cast doubt on whether next month's Waitangi Tribunal report on Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill will have much impact on his rewrite of land law.
The tribunal released a draft chapter on consultation around the bill when it learned Mr Flavell planned another round on consultation without waiting for its report.
It said the consultation so far was flawed and the Bill did not have broad support among Maori.
Mr Flavell says despite a campaign of misinformation, many people at the hui say the reform is on the right track.
He says when he became minister the bill was up to version five, and it's now in its 17th rewrite, meaning the Waitangi Tribunal isn't up with the play.
"They were reporting on what they saw one year ago and things have moved a hell of a lot further than then with lots of consultation, lots of feedback from groups like the Maori Council, Maori Women's Welfare League, the Iwi Leaders, FOMA, all sorts of other groups that have been involved in the consultation process as well as regional workshops, so I am willing to put my hand on my heart and say I think we have got the best possible product," Mr Flavell says.
He says his bill will strengthen the current legislation and add to it.
Claimants have pointed out that rather than amending the existing bill the reform is a complete rewrite, adding untested features and diminishing the power of the Maori Land Court.
There's a consultation hui in Whanganui this evening at at Te Puni Kokiri in Wellington tomorrow morning.
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