March 29, 2016
Proper process needed before land law reform
The president of the Maori Women's Welfare League says going to the United Nations is seen as a last option for getting the Government to listen to widespread concern about its reform of Maori land law.
Prue Kapua says the Government seems bent on pushing through Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill at indecent haste.
That's why Waitangi Tribunal claimants supported by the league have asked the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to step in.
She says the Government was given ample opportunity to present its reasons for reform to the tribunal, but then accused it of getting facts wrong when it found against the reform process.
"The tribunal's come to a conclusion that unless you go through a proper process of working out what is working and what is not working in the current legislation, you can’t suddenly start talking about reforming something as important as the system around how we hold and how we deal with our own land," Ms Kapua says.
She says the Government is making changes to the bill in an attempt to placate critics, but it won’t upset the likely negative effects of reforms and the loss of knowledge by ordinary Maori landowners.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com