MAORI LAND ACT REVIEW GETS GO AHEADMaori Affairs
The Minister of Maori Affairs, Tau Henare today announced a review of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 (The Maori Land Act).
"The review is part of the Coalition Agreement and is something many Maori organisations and groups asked for at the time the legislation was introduced. Now they've got it," said Mr Henare.
"The review will cover the principles and policies of the existing Act and other relevant material such as case law and academic and other comment.
"The review will also address issues such as the role and jurisdiction of the Maori Land Court, Maori land tenure, land title system, succession, economic development and taxation status of relevant bodies under the Act. "In addition, a number of interesting issues on matters such as representation of iwi and hapu, mandate, customary rights to land above and below the water, fiduciary duty, appeal rights and so on, has raised the interest not only of Maori, but also the general public and parliamentarians.
"Government has always envisaged a review of the Act following its enactment. The formation of the Coalition has sped that process up. "Maori who had reservations about the Act when it was introduced recall the undertakings given by the Government at the time and this, in part, is honouring that commitment," said Mr Henare.
The review will be carried out over the next year with an amendment Bill to be introduced by April 1999 and enactment by September 1999. The review and subsequent enactment will cost $2.8 million over three years.
Mr Henare also announced funding of $2.5 million over the next two years for costs associated with the implementation of the Maori Reserved Land Amendment Acts.