“The Ture Whenua Maori Bill is an ugly and crude attempt to cut away the remaining protections over Maori land” says MANA leader Hone Harawira “and we want it thrown out – now”
“The bill will weaken the Crowns treaty obligations, and the laws safeguarding Maori land”
“It will strip the mana of the Maori Land Court, transfer its powers to a government agency, and deny Maori the right to appeal the agency’s decisions”
“Maori land records which have been held with the Maori Land Court for more than 100 years, will be handed over to Land Information New Zealand, and will be harder to access for Maori land owners and more expensive as well”
“Rules over who can make decisions over Maori land will change massively, and instead of strengthening Maori land ownership every one of those changes will make it easier for foreigners to get their hands on Maori land.
“New corporate structures and corporate management, and rules making it easier to partition land, will make it easier for Maori land to be lost to foreigners.
“And changes to current legislation will allow people with no whakapapa connection to make decisions over the land, allow a minority of owners to make decisions without telling the rest of the owners, and allow Maori land to be sold to foreigners without the approval of its owners.
“Maori people have had their battles with the Maori Land Court over the years, but it’s comforting to know that the people who work there are Maori and understand what it is you’re going through, that you can appeal decisions, that you can access the records without having to break the bank, and that the judges will try to get you to resolve differences rather than impose rulings that satisfy no-one.
“Promoters of the Ture Whenua Maori Bill say they can change it so that Maori interests will be protected, but they can’t. It wasn’t written with Maori land interests in mind, but Maori land alienation.
“The Ture Whenua Maori Bill is not a minor wound you can fix with cosmetic surgery. It’s a poisonous and destructive cancer. If we don’t cut it out, it will kill any hopes we have of holding onto our land”