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Significant changes made to draft Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill

Hon Te Ururoa Flavell

Minita Whakawhanaketanga Māori

Minister for Māori Development

09 November, 2015
Media Statement

Significant changes made to draft Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says changes made to the draft Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill are a result of extensive consultation with Māori land owners and affected stakeholders.

Cabinet signed off on a number of changes to the draft Bill today which will make it easier for Māori land owners to better utilise their land while protecting the retention of Māori land in Māori ownership.

“The changes show that we are listening to the people and have responded to their concerns,” says Mr Flavell.

“Consultation has been a key focus of the reform process. We received nearly 400 submissions earlier this year following another round of nationwide consultation. We’ve made significant changes to the draft Bill as a result of this feedback,” says Mr Flavell.

The key changes to the draft Bill are:

· The managing kaiwhakarite proposal has been removed;

· The purpose and principles sections have been revised to more clearly reflect features of the preamble of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993;

· Whānau will have the option for individuals to obtain succession to land instead of having to form a whānau trust on intestate succession;

· The Māori Land Court will be given greater discretion when considering applications to remove the status of Māori freehold land.

Mr Flavell says Cabinet also agreed that existing Māori trusts and incorporations should be given the option to continue as the same entity they are now, and not have to go through the cost of forming a new one.

In 2011 the consensus of Māori land owners was that whenua Māori should be retained and used to enable it to be passed on to future generations; and that the use of the land should balance cultural and commercial imperatives.

“I remain committed to that aspiration and today’s changes to the draft Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill are another step toward achieving this,” he says.

Te Puni Kōkiri officials, with guidance from the Ministerial Advisory Group on Te Ture Whenua, will continue to consult with stakeholders throughout the Bill’s development. The Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill is due to be introduced into Parliament in March next year.


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