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Accelerating Māori Development anticipated

Hon Parekura Horomia

Minister for Maori Affairs


5 March 2008 Media Statement


Accelerating Māori Development anticipated with new Bill


Māori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says he is excited by the potential for accelerating Māori development as a result of changes proposed in the Māori Trustee and Māori Development Amendment Bill which passed it’s first reading last night.

The Bill proposes changes that have come out of a review of the Māori Trustee and are intended to provide a new start for the Trustee to meet future challenges and to deliver services to Māori”, Minister Horomia says.

It also sets up the Māori Trustee as a stand-alone organisation with new reporting requirements for public funding. The Māori Trustee and the Crown will soon begin the process of formulating an agreement for funding of the Māori Trustee.

The Bill also requires the Māori Trustee to take into account appropriate market interest rates and to pay the interest the Trustee receives on funds held in trust in the Common Fund, less an administrative fee.

“We know from consultation hui held in August and September this year that Māori have indicated clear support for the changes, provided that the Māori Trustee is adequately funded,” Mr Horomia says.

The Minister adds that an exciting new development from the consultation is the proposal for a new entity to further Māori economic development.

“This proposal has come out of investigating ways to increase synergy between business development work being undertaken by the Māori Trustee, Te Puni Kōkiri and potentially other organisations.”

The new statutory corporation, with the working title Māori Business Aotearoa New Zealand (MBANZ), will be responsible for a new fund which will be used to further Māori economic development by utilising Māori resources. An establishment board will be set up shortly to undertake further work on the service delivery configuration. From 1 July 2008 MBANZ will have in place a strategic plan to establish services for Māori including providing business support, identifying opportunities for Māori economic development, and some facility for loans to Māori businesses.

“I am disappointed at both the Maori Party and the National Party’s refusals to support a Bill that will help further Maori economic development. But their lack of support will not hinder the great progress Maori will make as a result of changes proposed in the Māori Trustee and Māori Development Amendment Bill”

ENDS

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