June 12, 2017
Rare skills needed for Maori mediation service
Finding the right people who can mediate between feuding whanau is seen as critical to the success of the proposed Maori Land Service.
The service will start operating 18 months after the passing of Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill, which scraps many of the powers and functions of the Maori Land Court in an attempt to give owners more say in what is done with their land.
TPK chief executive Michelle Hippolite say landowners told consultation hui the priorities should be getting the Maori land registry right; supporting landowners to make decisions by creating governance entities, which many blocks now don’t have; establishing services to help with land development; and creating a tikanga-based disputes resolution process.
"If it’s based on tikanga then it ought to enable land owners to being into that process a process that matters to them. And that they can see parties will be seeking to respect each other to find a solution through korero and debate. Having people who can work with whanau to achieve that is no easy feat but we know it is possible," she says.
Michelle Hippolite says if disputes can’t be resolved by mediation or hui, there will still be the option of going back to the Maori Land Court for a ruling.
Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill is still going through is committee stages.
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