February 19, 2016
Incorporation keen to get bill back on track
The chair of the Wakatu Incorporation says Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill has lost its way.
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has pledged to introduce the bill next month, but pressure is growing for him to wait until the Waitangi Tribunal delivers it's report on whether the proposed changes to Maori land law are compliant with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Paul Morgan says a 2012 review of the existing law had some good recommendations about increasing the ability of Maori landowners to choose how they may or may not use their land, but the draft bill when it came out tried to do a lot more.
He says as the owner of large blocks of Maori land at the top of the South Island, Wakatu has made extensive submissions, but a lot of work is still needed to get it back on track.
"The minister's saying he's going to put it in in March, we'll wait and see but it's had many iterations and it needed many iterations because officials then poilitcal people who are not landowners and administrators of Maori land, had taken it on this journey to an outcome that was unacceptable," he says.
Paul Morgan says Minister Flavell needs to listen to what Maori landowners are saying rather than accept a reform agenda driven by Attorney General Christopher Finlayson.
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