The Government can end compulsory land confiscations of whenua Māori by voting for a Green Party Members’ Bill that will come before the House next week, the Green Party said today.
Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty’s Public Works (Prohibition of Compulsory Acquisition of Māori Land) Amendment Bill, which would prohibit compulsory acquisition of Māori freehold land, is expected to have its first reading in the House next week.
Information released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that at almost all of the Government’s consultation hui on the Te Ture Whenua Māori reforms in 2014, concerns were raised by Māori, and members of the Iwi Leaders Group, about the impact of the Public Works Act on the proposed reforms.
“The number one priority of any Māori land reform by this Government should be to protect the small of amount of land that remains in Māori ownership from further loss and alienation,” Green Party Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson said.
“The Government can and should do that by voting for Catherine Delahunty’s Bill when it comes before the House next week.
“Despite assurances from Minister Te Ururoa Flavell that he would look at the Public Works Act as part of the Te Ture Whenua reforms, as it stands Māori freehold land could still be taken without consent, which would be a terrible outcome.
“Minister Flavell knows that there is large support for the principles of Catherine’s Bill to be included in the Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill because it was brought up at almost every consultation hui.
“The Minister needs to front up with a plan as to how the Government will address the many concerns raised by our people to ensure no more Māori land is taken without consent.
“The Government has previously agreed with us that this as an unresolved issue, so I am challenging National to act now to protect what whenua remains in Māori ownership and support the Green Party’s members bill to end compulsory acquisition of Māori land,” Ms Davidson said.