New Zealand Labour Party

Minister must prove he has addressed Tribunal concerns

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must show he has adopted the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations on proposed Te Ture Whenua reforms, or face the consequences from Maoridom, says Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.

“On Tuesday I received replies from the Minister to a series of written questions around Te Ture Whenua reform.  

“The Minister advised he was still considering the Waitangi Tribunal report and would announce an updated timeline for the Bill in due course.

“If he is to retain any credibility, his announcement must show that he has carefully addressed and adopted the Tribunal’s recommendations.

“This means setting out to engage with Maori in a meaningful way and prove broad support before proceeding with the Bill.

“I would also expect any new Bill to amend the provisions and loopholes identified by the Tribunal which weaken protections.

“A responsible Minister would also go back to the drawing board and research evidence as to what the barriers actually are to the utilisation of Maori land.

“If the Minister tries to back out of adopting the Tribunal’s recommendations, he will have to face the consequences from Maori landowners and leadership groups who are growing increasingly weary and sceptical of this entire reform process,” says Meka Whaitiri.