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New services for Maori land owners help close gaps

Hon Matt Robson
Minister for Courts

Hon Dover Samuels
Minister of Maori Affairs

13 June 2000

New services for Maori land owners help close gaps

Courts Minister Matt Robson and Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels today announced a package of measures to boost services to Maori land owners.

$6.21 million will be invested over the next three years through the Maori Land Court administration.

“The package aims to help close gaps by helping Maori land owners to overcome some of the complexities and institutional barriers of the Maori land tenure system which do not exist for general land owners. It will help ensure Maori better advance and control their own use, management and development of their land," says Matt Robson.

"Every one percent increase in productivity on the current Maori land capital base has the potential to generate up to $15 million per annum for Maori land owners. That's what we're aiming for."

The package includes setting up specially trained advisers throughout the island to give advice about Maori Land Court procedures, land management options for Maori land and issues affecting ownership, use and management of Maori land; a new Iwi Consultation Forum; a new geographical information system that depicts all Maori land data on computer with the ability to locate and identify Maori land holdings and their characteristics; a new Website providing information about Maori Land Court processes enabling electronic filing of documents; an expanded nation-wide newsletter to keep Maori up to date with the business of the Maori Land Court; on-line access to Maori land information held by other agencies; and more information resources such as the highly successful Maori land owner education booklets.

“Investing $6.21 million will help to build capacity among Maori land owners. They will be able to make better informed decisions about their land, reduce the cost of land management and improve their skills and knowledge-base. Maori will be involved in decisions about managing and providing access to invaluable Maori land records. Maori land use initiatives, including for example housing, will be made easier,” says Dover Samuels.

“This initiative builds on the enormous strides made over recent years by the Department for Courts to make the Maori Land Court administration as effective and responsive as possible to the needs of Maori land owners," says Matt Robson.

"This includes the first ever nation-wide data base of Maori land title and ownership information, computerising court processes, imaging and protecting precious historic records, establishing the first Maori land law reports, and setting up a Maori Land Court office in Auckland and new offices in Hamilton and Whangarei. This new investment makes it possible to deliver even better services to more people."" says Matt Robson.


ENDS

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