Green Party releases policy to return land to Māori

The time is now to be bold and make sure land wrongly taken from Māori is returned.

The Green Party is today launching a policy which will return stolen land to tangata whenua. In the next term of government the Green Party will introduce legislation to restore Māori control over Māori land, so that whānau and Papatūānuku can thrive.

“The Aotearoa we know today has been built off of Māori land, much of which was wrongly taken through breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi over the last 183 years,” says Marama Davidson, Green Party Co-leader.

“Colonial land theft has caused severe disconnection and locked whānau in poverty, and this has fed ongoing inequities for Māori within the health, education and justice systems. Returning land to tangata whenua is the right thing to do to begin to address these inequities.

“As Aotearoa approaches the 185-year anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the 50-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi Act, the time is now to reflect on next steps to ensure the promise of Te Tiriti is honoured and wrongs are put right.

“The Green Party will show the political leadership needed to recognise tino rangatiratanga and repair the harms of the past. We will do this by organising a commission of inquiry into land dispossession to investigate land taken through breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We will remove the 2008 deadline to lodge new Treaty claims and reinstate the ability for the Waitangi Tribunal to make recommendations in relation to privately owned land, as that land comes on the property market.”

“Our Hoki Whenua Mai plan will amend the Public Works Act to prevent whenua Māori being taken in future and provide a clear path for the return of land previously taken. Our plan ends perpetual leases returning full control of the whenua back to Māori landowners,” says Marama Davidson.

Green Party Māori Development Spokesperson, Teanau Tuiono added: “Evidence tells us that when Indigenous Peoples have control over their land, it boosts biodiversity. The Green Party’s Hoki Whenua Mai policy will not only begin to address the impacts of land loss and colonisation in Aotearoa, it will support whānau and papatūānuku to thrive.

“Returning land to tangata whenua is the right thing to do to address the ongoing injustices that Māori experience. Aotearoa can be a place where active kaitiakitanga led by tangata whenua guides our relationship with te taiao, ensuring our tūpuna whenua, awa, and maunga are cared for,” says Teanau Tuiono.

“For decades the Green Party has pushed for Te Tiriti justice. With more Māori Green MPs in government we can ensure policies like Hoki Whenua Mai are upheld. 27% of all children in Aotearoa whakapapa Māori, the time is now to break the intergenerational harm caused by land theft,” says Marama Davidson.

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