Prebble ScaremongeringMaori Affairs
Private land is not being confiscated to settle past injustices the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare, said today.
"Currently the owners and lessees of Maori Reserved Lands are not in a fair commercial leasing arrangement.
"Owners are not able to charge a normal commercial rental for their land which is leased by the farmers. The Maori Reserved Land Amendment Bill places lessees and owners on a more commercial footing to give both parties the opportunity to purchase the other's interest at market value," he said.
"It's misleading and quite frankly scaremongering by politicians like the leader of Act to even suggest the Bill will expropriate private property rights."
Mr Henare said the aim of the Bill was not about settling treaty grievances.
"Treaty settlements are a separate issue. This Bill simply put aims to place lessees and owners on a commercial footing.
"The way it stands at the moment, farmers are paying next to nothing to lease the land they're using and legislation framed in days gone by allows that to happen.
"It's an absurd inequity that needs to be addressed," said Mr Henare.