Ture Whenua Māori Bill must not proceed

Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill must not proceed as it fails to address the key barriers to the use of Māori land and is opposed by iwi Māori, the Green Party said today.

Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill must not proceed as it fails to address the key barriers to the use of Māori land and is opposed by iwi Māori, the Green Party said today.

 

Today the Bill has been presented back to the House after a rushed select committee process that failed to address the key concerns that Māori have consistently raised about the Bill.

 

“The Green Party is supporting Māori landowners in opposing this Bill, which will do nothing to protect Māori land and ensure it’s not further degraded and alienated,” Chair of the Green Party’s Māori caucus Denise Roche said.

 

“Minister Flavell and the Māori Party in particular must realise that there is no mandate from Māori to ram through this unpopular Bill. The Green Party calls on them to immediately halt its passage through Parliament.

 

“I attended many of the Māori Affairs Select Committee hearings on behalf of the Greens, where I heard overwhelming opposition from our people to the Bill.

 

“The Government’s claim that the Māori Land Court and the current Act are primarily responsible for the lack of development of Māori land is not backed up by the evidence.

“The Minister has still not addressed the key concerns of the Waitangi Tribunal, that is to establish what the key barriers to the use of Māori land actually are.

 

“Measures that are critical to the implementation of the Bill are still in the wānanga design phase, including the Māori Land Service replacing core functions of the Māori Land Court process.

“The importance of the institutional knowledge of the Māori Land Court has long been identified by landowners as a vital resource that needed to be maintained in any reform. National and the Māori Party should not rush changes without providing information on how the new Māori Land Service is proposed to operate.

 

“The ability for Māori customary and freehold land to be confiscated under the Public Works Act is not addressed in this Bill, despite it being raised by many submitters throughout the consultation process.

 

“Minister Flavell needs to go back to the drawing board and bring forward a plan that will ensure Māori land is both protected and effectively utilised for the benefit of our people”, Ms Roche said.

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