More criticism of Māori land law consultation

5:05 pm on 13 March 2016

A Waitangi Tribunal report criticising consultation on Māori land law reform has been welcomed by Mataatua Māori District Council.

Maanu Paul, a representative for claimants at the Military Veterans Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2500).

Mataatua council chair Maanu Paul Photo: RNZ / Laura Bootham

A bill currently before Parliament proposes to replace the Māori Land Court and give Māori land owners more freedom to decide how they use their land.

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

It found that Māori would be prejudiced if the bill went ahead in its current form.

The tribunal said the panel initially appointed to review the legislation lacked evidence-based research, proceeded with inadequate information and was not fully representative.

It also said consultation hui in June 2015 breached common-law standards for consultation.

Mataatua council chair Maanu Paul said he was pleased the tribunal agreed the consultation was flawed.

"The whole process of consultation with Māori was deficient, and it should be reapplied and I'm pleased to say that's the way the tribunal finding came out, and for us the tribunal finding gave us everything we wanted," he said.

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