Topic: Land

Māori Land Bill decision a victory for Māori land owners – Meka Whaitiri

By Te Kāea

Labour's Meka Whaitiri says the decision not to rush the Te Ture Whenua legislation through Parliament is a victory for Māori landowners. Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan says the Māori Development Minister's decision gives more time to make even more improvements to Māori land reforms.

Labour's Meka Whaitiri is relieved the Ture Whenua Māori legislation won't be rushed through Parliament.

“Satisfaction that the Bill isn't going up before we life for the general election. Clearly, it’s a Bill that landowners haven't given the Minister the informed consent.”

Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan says the Minister has made a "tika and pono" decision not to rush the most important piece of legislation currently facing Māori.

Whaitiri says, “When the detail came out which is the bill there were just too many concerns in it for Māori land owners for it to proceed.”

Since 2014 around 328,000 has been spent on direct consultation for more than 170 hui around the country. The Māori Development Minister says whatever money that has been spent is reasonable compared to the lasting benefit that Māori land owners will get for generations to come from this Bill.

“You'll see a lot of investment has gone in the establishment of the Māori Land Service but the Treasury put their report out and gave it a red sticker for failing to meet the fundamentals of a major government project which is a fully costed business case to make sure we have a good implementation plan.”

Morgan says there's now more time to make improvements. But the Māori Party will need to make it back into Parliament after the Election to enact the new legislation.