18 Sep 2013

More time for hui to consult on Maori law

6:43 am on 18 September 2013

People have been given more time to give written feedback on the Maori Community Development Act - legislation which covers Maori wardens and the Maori Council.

Nineteen hui have been arranged by the government to take place since earlier this month.

The two most recent hui have been held in Wellington, with the next one due to be held at Arai i te Uru Marae in Dunedin.

The facilitator for the hui, independent consultant, Rauru Kirikiri, says the Minister of Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples, has decided to extend the cut-off time to the end of October.

He says Dr Sharples has realised the intense interest in what's happening at the moment and allowed more people time take part in the feedback process.

Some tangata whenua say they have made it clear to Government representatives that legislation overseeing the Maori Council and wardens needs to be updated, but the changes should be made only by Maori.

About 100 people attended two Wellington meetings, the first at Waiwhetu marae in Lower Hutt, followed by another at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua.

Many at both hui said the Maori Council's policy of governing doesn't need to change and that wardens should remain under the Council.

Some people said they weren't happy with the way Te Puni Kokiri administers the wardens, while others weren't satisfied with the way the police work with the volunteers.