Hone Harawira has shown that the agreement between the Mana and Maori parties to co-operate over electorate campaigns to improve each party’s chances of election success doesn’t extend to agreement over policies.
The Māori Party has spearheaded a new bill proposing major changes to the governance and administration of the 27,000 titles of Māori land in New Zealand, which equate to 6 percent of the country’s total land mass.
But its new ally, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has called the Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill “a poisonous and destructive cancer”.
“I think it opens our lands up to be bought by foreigners. It is an extremely bad piece of legislation.”
Mr Harawira said some Mana supporters have made clear they would not back the Māori Party over this bill – and he did not blame them.
“It wasn’t written with Māori interests in mind but Māori land alienation.
“It’s ugly and its crude because it’s an attempt to open up the last remaining vestiges of Māori land that are held by Māori.
Iwi leader Kerensa Johnson also warned the Māori Party that unless changes were made, it would not have their support.
There will always be differences within Maori over policies.
Differences between Maori parties is one way of debating the merits of policies – but Labour wants to represent all Maori electorates and cut the other parties out of Parliament.
Five months ago, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell acknowledged the Māori Land Service was still being designed.
It is lack of details such as this that has Māori landowners concerned about making such sweeping changes.
Wakatū is asking Mr Flavell to rework the bill and slow down the process, but Mr Harawira wants it gone altogether. He said it was not a minor wound that could be fixed with cosmetic surgery.
Policy debate is healthy. Isn’t this one of the benefits of MMP giving multiple parties representing different constituencies a say?
Te Puni Kokiri: New Māori land law one step closer
Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill will give Māori land owners greater decision-making powers and better support for the management of Māori freehold land.
Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill passed its Second Reading in Parliament just before Christmas.
You can view the speeches in the House here.
Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill, which was introduced into Parliament in April 2016, will:
- Give Māori land owners greater autonomy to make their own decisions
- Provide a clearer more empowering decision-making framework
- Strengthen protections against the alienation of Māori land
- Lead to stronger-performing governance bodes
- Improve the succession and dispute resolution processes and
- Make better use of the Māori Land Court.
The new Bill also establishes a new Māori Land Service to support Māori land owners. A second nationwide round of Wānanga about the final design of this Service will be held in January 2017.
The Bill is expected to be enacted by 30 April 2017 and to come into effect by 1 October 2018.
Harawira isn’t in Parliament so won’t get to vote on it.
Labour MP Meka Whatiri seems to oppose the bill, saying it takes protections away from Maori:
I presume that means that the Labour Party also opposes the bill.