September 01, 2023
Flood buy-out plan not fit for whenua Māori
Ngāti Kahungunu chair Bayden Barber says schemes to help landowners in the Hawke’s Bay devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle are still not right for whenua Māori.
In February, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson launched a $15m fund to provide rapid assistance to marae and hāpori Māori.
Mr Barber says while infrastructure is being restored, Māori landowners are unhappy with the buyout option.
“So that’s probably the negotiation that needs to happen with the crown. We can relocate whānau that had been living in category three areas that are Māori land, but the land will still, if it’s owned by Maori still (be) owned by Māori. So, yeah, we don’t want to alienate our whānau from their whenua. That’s the whole rehash of what’s happened in the last few 100 years,” he says.
There are also challenges dealing with multiply-owned land where owners throughout the motu need to be consulted.