Better utilisation of close to one and a half million hectares of Māori land is the current focus of this government.
According to Māori agriculturalist Te Iwipuihi Tipene, “We'd be foolish to believe that throwing wads of money at our lands will reap benefits. We need to reconnect with our land first before these initiatives can bear fruit.”
In this year’s budget, government has allocated $12.8M to address longstanding issues that for generations have the use of Māori land.
From Northland to the Bay of Plenty to the East Coast and across to Manawatū and Whanganui are the regions where the stronghold of Māori land is where Government aims to free up the land from the issues that have left it under-utilised.
This funding allocation will be put to use alongside the current review of the Māori Land Act which comes before cabinet this week.
Mr Tipene says, “Perhaps the time is nigh for our families to return home and look at the possibilities of a small garden or a pig as a start. Don't have grand ideas of two thousand pigs, no but start slowly.”