February 17, 2016
Whakapapa changes a worry in new land bill
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has welcomed moves to fix rating problems with Maori land, but he’s skeptical about the wider reform of Maori land law.
A proposal to allow councils to waive rates on unused and unoccupied Maori land has been added to the reform programme, although it would involve a change to the Local Government Act rather than Te Ture Whenua Maori.
Mr Peters says there are plenty of examples of unreasonable rating, such as high rates on Maori coastal land even if no access or services are provided.
But he says there are serious flaw emerging in the changes sought by Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.
"It looks like it is going to take away the tracking of entitlement to whakapapa in some cases. Now that is going to be a big worry and I think some Maori will be seriously concerned when they see that," he says.
Consultation on the bill returns to the north tomorrow with hui in Kaikohe and Whangarei.
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