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Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is minimised, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.

“The Māori Affairs Select Committee report on Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill highlights the risk to institutional knowledge posed by pending job losses at the Maori Land Court.

“Labour has been calling for the job losses to be deferred since they were first announced and the comments in the report should give Te Ururoa Flavell a wake-up call.

“The Māori Land Court has been here for 150 years and Māori landowners, whānau and hapū who put a lot of faith in the Court are rightly concerned at how the loss of institutional knowledge will affect them.

“With Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill now back in the House, and still no details on the proposed Māori Land Service, the timing of the restructure couldn’t be worse.

“It seems hard to justify job losses when future structures of the Court and the laws administering Māori land are so up in the air.

“The Māori Development Minister must show some leadership here.

“Te Ururoa Flavell needs to get on the phone to Justice Minister Amy Adams and make the case for deferring job losses until the proposed Māori Land Service is operational,” says Meka Whaitiri.