Return private land to Māori, say Greens

The Green Party’s Te Mātāwaka caucus has released Hoki Whenua Mai - a discussion document outlining what the Crown should do to redress the on-going injustices of the Treaty settlement process.

“Returning land to tangata whenua is the right thing to do to address the ongoing injustice that Māori experience,” says co-leader of the Green Party, Marama Davidson MP.

“Nearly two centuries of land dispossession - much of which has been enabled by Crown policy - has caused an underlying, deep, foundational harm that Māori continue to experience to this day. 

“We see it in everything from the number of Māori constrained by poverty, to the harm that has been done to our natural world. 

“Correcting past wrongs is a Crown responsibility and the Greens are clear about how it should be done.

“Only by returning land to its rightful owners can our people and taiao be healed into the future,” says Marama Davidson. 

Chair of Te Mātāwaka, Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere MP added: “Aotearoa can be a place where active kaitiakitanga led by tangata whenua guides our relationship to taiao, ensuring our tūpuna whenua, awa, and maunga are cared for.”

“Hoki Whenua Mai proposes that the Government enable the Waitangi Tribunal to revise settlements and access to private land, establish a Hoki Whenua Mai fund, give mana whenua first right of refusal over raupatu land, and establish a registry for private landowners to give mana whenua first right of refusal should they sell.”

Marama Davidson concluded: “We acknowledge those who have dedicated their lives to seeing tangata whenua get their land back. We know more and more people, Māori and non-Māori, want to be part of the solution.

“We want to know what those people think of our ideas to transform the current power structures that maintain land ownership injustice.”  

Further Information 

Hoki Whenua Mai is available here.

The options for returning land to tangata whenua that the Green Party is asking for feedback on include:

  • Enabling the Waitangi Tribunal to revise settlements, including recognition of increased land values since redress was provided.
  • Establishing a Hoki Whenua Mai fund to enable whānau/hapū to reacquire dispossessed Māori land
  • Reinstating the power for the Waitangi Tribunal to make recommendations in relation to privately owned land
  • Establishing a new legal right of first refusal for mana whenua over raupatu land, operating outside the Treaty settlement framework
  • Establishing a registry that allows private landowners to elect to give the right of first refusal over the purchase of their land to mana whenua when they sell it

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