May 03, 2016
Maori land in corporate drive
Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri says the more Maori landowners find out about the new Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, the more they will be alarmed.
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell introduced the massive rewrite of Maori land law into parliament last month, claiming it has widespread support among Maoridom.
But Ms Whaitiri says that’s not possible, because the final text has just become available.
She says it represents a major shift from the law which has been in place since 1993, which is all about retaining land in Maori ownership.
"The pendulum has swung, it's swung to the corporatisation of Maori whenua, so you will see things like shareholdings rather than owners in the new bill, you will start seeing the emphasis on utilisation, removing impediments to land development, you see constructions around governance in terms of if you don't have one, we'll find you one, and you have got all these other players that weren’t there," Ms Whaitiri says.
She says Mr Flavell claims the bill will give Maori landowners more say in what happens to their land, but in fact control will pass to a new type of governor who can ignore owners’ wishes in pursuit of economic development.
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