March 09, 2021
Rating reform could unlock Maori housing potential
Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says a bill allowing council chief executives to write off rates arrears on Māori land could free up land for much needed papakainga housing.
The Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill, which Mr Tirikatene oversaw through the select committee process, is now heading back for second reading.
He says the burden of unpaid rates on land that has been marginal or unproductive has hindered the efforts to owners who may want to change its use.
It can be seen alongside moves to make succession to Māori land easier and reforms of planning laws to facilitate housing developments on multiply-owned land.
"It's all part of ensuring we can promote papakainga houses on our whenua Māori. That rates burden is another impediment we want to get out of the way to ensure that we can whakamahana our whenua and bring our whānau back onto our lands," Mr Tirikatene says.
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