Tuhoe Maori Trust Board former chairman Tama Nikora says the Public Works Act was not the only way Maori lost their land over the past half century.
Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell attempted to amend the act with a private members bill, but it ultimately failed.
Mr Nikora says there has been a lot of other legislation which have been just as damaging to Maori.
He told Waatea News: "Don't be mislead into thinking the Public Works Act is the reason for the problem.
"The majority of our tribal lands were taken through the Native Lands Acts (of 1865, 1867, and 1873), which a lot of people aren't aware of."