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Ed Sheeran

New Maori Land legislation another means of telling Maori what to do with their land
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Prime Minister John Key. Getty Images

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OPINION: The Government and Maori Party are desperate to unlock what they calculate is $8 Billion in Maori Land that is currently not being used as economically as the Government wants.

Currently collective land owned by Maori needs a long consultation process with all Maori connected to that land. What the Government wants to do is lower that threshold to just some who need to be consulted.

The Government claims such changes will allow Maori land not currently being used to its economic maximum to become more profitable. The reality however is that the land will simply be opened up to those wishing to exploit the new lax regulations.

If Government want Maori to use their land more economically - then the Government should open up loans and funding for Maori to develop and use that land as they see fit. All these changes will do is make it easier to sell that Maori land, not grow it.

There's another issue at stake here though, who are the Government to decide for Maori that they aren't using their land properly?

No Government would ever tell Pakeha that they aren't using their land properly.

The Auckland property bubble and speculators are denying the poor and young from ever owning a house. If the Government are concerned about land use, perhaps they should look to change laws on Pakeha land use, not Maori.

 

Martyn Bradbury

Editor - TheDailyBlog.co.nz

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