May 08, 2020
Maori lawyers cast eyes over RMA changes
A member of the Iwi Leaders Group’s pandemic response group is praising the openness of the Government to allowing Māori input into its responses.
Mike Smith says that includes altering the Resource Management Act to allow for fast-tracking of shovel-ready stimulus projects that can help with economic recovery.
Iwi fear projects could be pushed through which allow for the confiscation of Māori land or cut across treaty settlements.
They’ve been able to put their own legal experts on the teams drafting the changes.
"And they’re not just conservative lawyers. We've got some of our more progressive lawyers like Dayle Takitimu and others keeping an eye on what the Government is up to and contributing to the formation of those laws. It's a struggle because I don't think the government legal teams are used to having Māoris come in the door and sit down with them to watch over their shoulders to say 'that's not right, it's incorrect what you're doing, what you should be doing is this,'" Mr Smith says.
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