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Ed Sheeran

Maori voice weakened in RMA reforms

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Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says the push to build houses in Auckland is undermining the ability of Maori to have a say and protect what is dear to them.

Mr Henare says recent changes to the city’s proposed unitary plan combined with planned amendments to the Resource Management Act put Maori in a weaker position.

When the Maori Party struck a deal allowing the Government to introduce the RMA amendment bill, it claimed it would not damage the rights of iwi and hapu and should enhance them.

But Mr Henare says the detail indicates otherwise.

"How do iwi facilitate the opportunity to speak out on things to protect significant waahi tapu or places of significance when actually, what the council and RMA will do too is to lessen the number of sites of significance and that's a concern for me," says Mr Henare.

Peeni Henare says he’s also concerned the practice of drawing up prescribed lists of iwi who government or councils will consult excludes many significant Maori groups.


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