Maori Reserved Lands Amendment Bill Passes into Law

  • Tau Henare
Maori Affairs

A piece of legislation whose time has finally come.

That's the reaction from the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare, to the passing of the Maori Reserved Lands Amendment Bill into law last night.

"For more than 140 years of reserved land the owners have suffered from the imposition of unfair leases," he said.

"For more than 100 years the owners of reserved land have had to watch as Parliament, at the bidding of lessees of reserved land, chipped away at the landowners' property rights.

"The landowners have never given their consent to the leases or the lease conditions imposed on them... the result was the alienation of the owners from their land, an ongoing subsidy to lessees and the impoverishment of the landowners.

"So the time has come for this and I welcome it and sincerely hope that those who have rallied against it one day recognise the inequitable position it placed the land owners in for well over 100 years and learn to get on with things.

"Successive Governments over the years have recognised the inequities and constantly put the issue on the backburner. This New Zealand First-National Government have made the tough decisions and are prepared to stand by them.

"It's far too easy to say to talk about ideologies, but I'm confident the owners can see the long term objectives of it and its benefits.

"The land owners have patiently sat by as conditions they didn't want were imposed on them hoping one day there would be a turnaround.

"Their day has come," said Mr Henare.