Ture Whenua Bill has been binned

By Heta Gardiner

The Ture Whenua Bill has been discharged from the Governments legislative programme.

Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta says “This decision reinforces the coalition government’s view that Māori Land reforms should retain a strong preference to protect Māori land interests while improving supports that would assist in better utilisation."

“We need to reprioritize efforts to support Māori Land owner collectives, whanau, and hapū who seek to develop the potential of their land and enterprise opportunities,” said the Minister.

This bill was controversial from the outset under Minister Pita Sharples and didn’t gain any more favour under Minister Te Ururoa Flavell. With opposition from the Māori Women’s Welfare League, Māori judges and the Māori Party’s own ally the Mana Party the bill struggled for traction. Minister Flavell eventually pulled the bill saying they had run out of time to pass the bill before the election.

Labour is now looking at new ways to adapt the 1993 Act.

“A lot of work will be going into the range of reforms that will be proposed for the current Te Ture Whenua act 1993, the detail of which I will be proposing in the New Year,” said Nanaia Mahuta.