22 Dec 2014

Need for Ture Whenau Act review highlighted

2:34 pm on 22 December 2014

A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that improvements to Maori freehold land and forestry could add billions of dollars to the New Zealand economy.

Te Ururoa Flavell

Te Ururoa Flavell Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

The report updated and refined estimates around the potential value of freehold land, and said performing Maori land and forestry could be worth $3.5 billion.

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said reviewing the Ture Whenua Act was also important because it was holding back productivity and this would make it easier for collective Maori owners to develop land.

Mr Flavell said there was a clear statement that, if developed properly, Maori whenua could contribute hugely.

However, the minister said there were also some loopholes within the legislation which did not allow that to happen, and a reformed Ture Whenua Act in the new year was a priority.