Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru
Saturday 30 June 2012
The Māori Party will be supporting the new private members bill, Overseas Investment (Restriction on Foreign Ownership of Land) Amendment Bill being sponsored by Dr Norman.
"The focus of this Bill is at the very heart of the Māori Party" said Tariana Turia. "We have been and always will be against the sale of our land to overseas interests. We will certainly support this Bill to retain ownership and control of sensitive land within New Zealand".
"Last year we asked the National Government to include a clause in the Overseas Investment Office's regulations requiring them to check whether the seller "had consulted with, and/or offered land to the appropriate iwi before offering it on the open market".
"Our view has always been that we must protect and preserve our land to keep it from falling into foreign ownership. We do not believe selling off our land to offshore investors is an act of good faith in iwi as Treaty partners".
"If anything, we want the bill to go further. Iwi are natural partners of the Crown, with cultural traditions of inter-generational ownership and protection of land and natural resources. We believe they should have a right of first refusal, in accordance with Treaty principles".
"At the committee stage of the Bill, Te Ururoa Flavell will be introducing an amendment to insert a Treaty clause into the overseas investment legislation, to give iwi first right of refusal".
"This Bill is a really important opportunity for all New Zealanders to protect our land and keep it in our own management and care.
"One of our tupuna from the Whanganui River, Tinirau left us the challenge, ‘ toi tū te kupu; toi tū te mana; toi tū te whenua". It was a call to hold fast to our language and to our land as at the essence of what it is to be Māori. Those words help to consolidate our support for Dr Norman's bill".