October 10, 2016
Flavell says court staff safe
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says he’s not responsible for staffing the Maori Land Court, but he hopes it can retain the experience he needs for his Maori land law reform.
Labour’s Meka Whaitiri has accused Mr Flavell of standing by while the Justice Ministry guts the court as part of an overall review of court staffing.
Mr Flavell says he’s responsible for appointing Maori Land Court judges – a responsibility he loses under proposed reforms – but not for the court itself.
He says the review caught him by surprise, but he won’t let it affect his own reforms.
"I’ve given a commitment that in designing the new Maori Land Service, that I don't want to lose the expertise, the institutional knowledge that people working in the Maori Land Court have built up over years. They're a pretty special group of people who have all that expertise, Would I deliberately go out and sabotage that while we have got the Maori Land Service being designed? I don’t think so," Mr Flavell says.
He says Meka Whaitiri is just playing politics.
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