5 August 2017 MEDIA STATEMENT
Comments by Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox that yet more changes will be made to the Ture Whenua Māori Bill provide further proof of how poorly designed and unfit for purpose this legislation is, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.
“Marama Fox told the Gisborne Herald on Thursday that even more changes are still to be made to the Ture Whenua Māori Bill.
“This will provide further uncertainty to Māori landowners who are already struggling to come to grips with this complex and constantly changing bill.
“The bill has already had 125 amendments and 30 removed clauses.
“In April, Te Ururoa Flavell proposed 70 more major changes. Māori opposition MPs requested these be taken back to select committee for public scrutiny. Flavell refused.
“The Māori Party are taking Māori landowners for fools. With constant changes, outside of any transparent consultation framework, Māori landowners know this bill isn’t fit for purpose.
“The Māori Party wants to repeal and replace the existing Act, and throw out 24 years’ worth of case law with it.
“To repeal an existing Act with such importance to Māori requires legislation of the highest standard.
“Instead, the Māori Party are trying to force a poorly-designed, Frankenstein’s Monster of a bill on our people.
“A Labour government will ensure any amendments to the existing Act conform to Waitangi Tribunal recommendations and are done in partnership with landowners.
“Our people deserve high-quality legislation that empowers them, not this shambles being forced on them now,” says Meka Whaitiri