Whenua law changes help whānau

 Whenua law changes help whānau

Māori land owners will be better supported to resolve disputes and build papakāinga housing on their whenua with targeted changes to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act now becoming law .

“The changes to the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act represent a major step forward in the Government’s Whenua Māori Programme to help whānau achieve their aspirations for their whenua,” says Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

“Māori land owners have unique challenges to developing their land, including complex rules and regulations, multiple ownership in land blocks and people not succeeding to their land interests.

“The passing of Te Ture Whenua Māori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill ensures the legislation works better for land owners and fixes some of the barriers to succeeding Māori land.”

The new legislation will improve the process for uncontested succession applications, introduces a tikanga-based mediation service to help whānau resolve disputes more quickly, and makes is easier for whānau to use their whenua for housing.

“New and enhanced Māori Land Court processes and services will reduce the time and costs to whānau and encourage more people to connect with their whenua, while the expertise of Māori Land Court Judges is harnessed, across a wider range of matters of importance to land owners.

“The new legislation also allows for occupation orders to be granted to beneficiaries of a whānau trust, and removes obstacles to funding for development of papakāinga housing on Māori Reservations,.

“I want to thank those who submitted on this Bill offering valuable perspectives that could test the intent of the changes being proposed.

“These changes sit alongside other work i am advancing  in relation to the rating of whenua Māori that I intend to progress to support the aspirations of Māori Land owners,” says Minister Mahuta.

Media Contact: Chris Harrington (021) 941 865

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