Topic: Land

Iwi meet to understand proposed reforms to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

With more than 1.4 million ha of Māori land being under-utilised, reforming the laws that govern Māori land is a mammoth task. 

The deadline for submissions has already been extended by an extra five weeks, but whānau still don't think it's enough time.

For some, understanding the complex detail of the proposed reforms to the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 is not an easy task.

Te Taitumu Trust Chairman Zack Makoare says, "It's very difficult for our family to understand the paperwork that's just come out, and I think given a bit more time we'll be a bit more informed about what we need to do."

Flo Karaitiana (Ngāti Kahungunu) says, "I think the ture in its current form is okay and I think us tribal owners should be able to have more say about it.  I don't agree with this new bill that's coming out now there's nothing in it for our people."

Around 80% of Māori land is underperforming for its owners, consultation workshops are being across the country to discuss unlocking its potential.

Henare Ratima (Ngāti Manawa) says, "I've been an owner for 50 years, since I was nine years old but I've had no return on my land because it's all been put into investment."

A story echoed by many whānau around the country, owners of over 27,000 Māori land blocks.

Karl Tipene (Ngāti Kahungunu) says, "They want to make more money from our lands but are we going to see it in our own pocket.  To me, it's not sustainable what we're doing at the moment and the only way to move forward is to put our own people to work the land ourselves."

Diane Koti (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui) says, "If we decide we don't want any economic development or any economic gains to our whenua, how will that influence our positions as landowners within the consultation document."

Māori development minister has extended the date of submissions to Te Puni Kōkiri to 7 Aug by 10am with the aim of having a bill drafted by the end of this year.