Hui are being held around the country this month to discuss reform of Maori land governance.
Crown and Maori technical experts will update Maori land owners on progress on a bill to reform Te Ture Whenua Maori Act and will seek feedback, Associate Minister of Maori Affairs, Chris Finlayson, said.
The first hui is in Auckland today.
“I invite all Maori land owners and interested parties to attend these hui and hear about and discuss the progress of the legislation,” Mr Finlayson said.
The bill allows Maori land owners more freedom with governance arrangements and introduces a new disputes resolution process.
The New Zealand Law Society said in June the existing law had been in place for 20 years and needed to be reconsidered but reform needed to be done carefully.
Problems related to Maori freehold land were complex and difficult to resolve.
A large area of land in the North Island was underperforming and steps were needed to “unlock” this land to enable it to perform better.
“However, the Law Society considers legislative amendment alone will not achieve this goal,” it said.
Maori land comprises 1.466 million hectares, which is approximately 5.5 percent of New Zealand’s land mass.
Dates of hui:
- Auckland, Whangarei, Aug 3
- Kaikohe, Hamilton, Aug 4
- Rotorua, Aug 7
- Dunedin, Aug 8
- Gisborne, Hastings, Aug 10
- New Plymouth, Whanganui, Aug 11
- Nelson, Wellington, Aug 12
- Invercargill, Christchurch, Aug 13
- Taupo, Tauranga, Whakatane, Aug 14
- Te Kaha, Tokomaru Bay, Aug 15