Maori land reforms delayed

8:11 am on 5 August 2015

The introduction of legislation to reform Māori land ownership has been delayed until next year.

Te Ururoa Flavell

Te Ururoa Flavell Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

The Ture Whenua Māori Bill was expected to go before Parliament later this year, but has now been held back to allow for further consultation and work to develop the Maori Land Service and the Ture Whenua Network.

Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell said as it was the biggest reform of Māori land in a long time, he was comfortable with the delay.

He said an advisory committee set up to consult landowners came back requesting more time.

"It is a huge piece of legislation that is complicated and we have to take our time to get it right. We are only going to get one shot at it in my time in Parliament and I want to make sure we leave a good legacy and what is right and what works for our people."

Mr Flavell said the common goal has always been to free up Māori land.

"To allow people to utilise it if they wish, but in the same token not to set a regime which allowed it to be easily alienated."

Mr Flavell said he expects good cross-party support for the land reforms when he presents them to Parliament in March.

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