The 25 wānanga on the proposed Maori Land Service (MLS) are nothing more than an empty political stunt, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“The Maori Land Service wānanga wrapped up several weeks ago and we still haven’t heard from the Minister about the outcomes.
“The 25 wānanga were hastily announced after the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA) presented a list of bottom-line demands, including the need for more details to be included in the proposed legislation.
“The MLS is a critical part of the Minister’s proposed Maori land reforms, yet there is no real detail on its form and function in the legislation currently before the select committee.
“Te Ururoa Flavell needs to explain why he has chosen to ignore the advice of FOMA and many other submitters, who strongly believe the development of the MLS needs to be part of the legislative process.
“It appears the Minister is so determined to push ahead with this unpopular bill, he’s ignoring advice and scrambling to appear as if he’s doing something meaningful.
“Maori landowners deserve considered legislation and robust processes as this is the most significant reform in over 20 years.
“The Minister is offering ad hoc policy decisions and political stunts,” says Meka Whaitiri.