12 Mar 2016

Revise land laws, if supported: Tribunal

11:42 am on 12 March 2016

Proposed reform of Māori land laws should only proceed if there is broad Māori support, the Waitangi Tribunal has said in its final report on the matter.

The Tribunal heard three urgent claims last year on the Crown's review of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

It found the initial review panel lacked evidence-based research, proceeded with inadequate information and was not fully representative.

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said he was yet to consider the final report in its entirety but he agreed with the importance of retaining land in Māori hands for future generations.

He would give the report his full consideration before introducing the Ture Whenua Māori Bill into Parliament.

The Tribunal also said consultation hui in June 2015 breached the common law standards for consultation.

The Crown would breach its Treaty principles if it did not ensure there was informed, broad-based support for the Bill to proceed, the Tribunal said.

It recommended further engagement with Māori land owners to ensure they are properly informed.

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