Input is being sought into the design of the new Māori Land Service which will be established through the Te Ture Whenua Māori bill that is going through Parliament.
Te Puni Kokiri says the bill is premised on six important principles:
- Māori land endures as a taonga tuku iho by virtue of whakapapa.
- Tikanga Māori is central to matters involving Māori land.
- Te Tiriti o Waitangi is central to the application of laws affecting Māori land.
- Māori land owners have the right to decide how their land is used.
- Māori land owners have the right to take advantage of opportunities to develop their land for the benefit of present and future generations of owners, their whānau, and their hapū
- Disputes involving Māori land should be managed in a manner that maintains and enhances relationships between the owners, and members of whānau and hapū.
It says with these principles in mind, the proposed Māori Land Service could help land owners choose the right governance structure for their needs and help land owners transition to that new entity.
"The Māori Land Service could also register the decisions land owners make about governance and land utilisation, and maintain records of Māori land ownership and titles and registry information."
Wānanga are being organised to hear kōrero from Māori land owners about the proposed Māori Land Service and what an effective service might look like. The wānanga began on 19 September 2016 in Dunedin and are scheduled to run through to 14 October.