March 29, 2016
Election timetable driving land reform
The president of the Maori Women’s Welfare League says Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell needs to take a step back and consider the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations on Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill.
The league is backing a request by claimants to review the way the Government has consulted on the bill, which completely rewrites the law around Maori land.
Prue Kapua says the National-led Government signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples back in 2010 at the urging of the Maori Party, and now it’s time to put its money where its mouth is.
She says it shouldn’t be too hard for the minister to admit he should take more time to consider what the tribunal and Maori are saying.
"Perhaps we even have to ask the question at the beginning, do we actually need reform or do we just need to say Te Ture Whenua as it is now could work a little better. This may be mediation provisions or whatever. So it’s really about taking a step back, instead of working to a timeframe set down by the current government that says we have to get a bill in by the end of March because this is going to be our platform for Maori issues for the election," Ms Kapua says.
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