• Jenny Shipley
Prime Minister

The National-New Zealand First Government has moved to accommodate concerns of the lessees in relation to the Maori Reserved Lands Bill currently being considered before Parliament.

After hearing submissions from the interested parties, the Prime Minister Designate, Jenny Shipley and Treasurer, Winston Peters, announced that they had agreed to introduce a Supplementary Order Paper into the Committee stages of the Bill that would allow leaseholders who believe that the value of their properties has been significantly eroded to test that in the Land Valuation Tribunal.

"The Bill will continue to recognise the property rights of the lessee and the lessor, but this new measure allows leaseholders to fairly test whether they have sustained a loss compared with the current market value and based on the compensation package available by having their compensation assessed by the Land Valuation Tribunal. This is consistent with the Government's commitment to protecting people's property rights while putting an historic wrong right.

"The Government has been determined to attempt to settle this longstanding and complex issue without creating a further grievance. This measure proposed today is a significant step to assist us to achieve that goal.

"It is the Government's hope that the legislation will be passed by the end of the year in order to give people certainty. This issue has created significant uncertainty for many families for a number of years and it is time the matter was settled.

"The Government believes this announcement today will help all parties to feel that they have achieved that," Jenny Shipley and Winston Peters concluded.