December 14, 2016
Glaring gap in land bill
Labour’s Meka Whaitiri says last night’s second reading of Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill was a rush job that does a grave disservice to Maori landowners.
What particularly rankled the Ikaroa Rawhiti MP was the Government’s implication that opponents of its major rewrite of Maori land law weren’t interested in assisting Maori landowners.
She says in fact the Opposition was listening to the concerns of landowners and trying to fix a bad bill.
Owners will go into Christmas uncertain about the legal and administrative tools they will have to protect and develop their whenua.
"The biggest tool that this government and particularly (Maori Development Minister) Te Ururoa Flavell promised was the establishment of a Maori land service. That has not been achieved through this piece of legislation. In fact Maori landowners have to wait until April next year for a business case so we don’t even know if this Government is going to both resource and support the establishment the underpinning selling point of this legislation which is the Maori land service," Ms Whaitiri says.
On top of that many experienced Maori Land Court staff will lose their jobs at the end of January in a Justice Ministry overhaul of the courts division.
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