4 Apr 2013

Feedback sought on Maori Land Act proposals

8:18 am on 4 April 2013

The Government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to Te Ture Whenua Maori Act / Maori Land Act.

About 1.4 million hectares of Maori land - or 27,000 blocks - comes under the Act and the Government believes 80% of the land is underperforming.

It says its proposed changes to streamline complex rules governing Maori land would free up its economic potential.

A review panel has been looking at ways to improve the Act, and has made a number of suggestions which include: land use decided by a majority of owners; support for owners to make decisions and resolve any disputes; and a reduction in the fragmentation of Maori land.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says the Government wants to unlock the land's economic potential while preserving its cultural significance for future generations.

A Government report states that for an initial investment of $3 billion in the land it could return $8 billion in additional economic potential and provide 3,600 new jobs in the primary sector.

A series of regional hui will be held during April and May, otherwise people can make written submissions by 17 May and send them to the Ministry of Maori Development, Te Puni Kokiri.