Māori Party welcomes debate on Public Works Bill

The Māori Party is thrilled to see the next chapter of parliamentary progress in the Public Works space with a new private member’s bill pulled today.

Te Ururoa Flavell’s Bill, the Public Works (Offer Back of and Compensation for Acquired Land) Amendment Bill fell at its second reading in July 2010. In his closing comments, Te Ururoa laid the challenge:

“I submit that the failure of the Crown to protect Māori land as agreed to within article Two of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a blatant breach of its obligation to Māori. I stand on notice before the House to say that if this bill does not proceed today, the Māori Party will nevertheless continue to uphold, and be dedicated to, our commitment to protect and preserve the whenua that is still in our hands, as tangata whenua, and for the generations to come.”

The Māori Party is thrilled to see the next chapter of parliamentary progress in the Public Works space with a new private member’s bill pulled today.

Te Ururoa Flavell’s Bill, the Public Works (Offer Back of and Compensation for Acquired Land) Amendment Bill fell at its second reading in July 2010. In his closing comments, Te Ururoa laid the challenge:

“I submit that the failure of the Crown to protect Māori land as agreed to within article Two of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a blatant breach of its obligation to Māori. I stand on notice before the House to say that if this bill does not proceed today, the Māori Party will nevertheless continue to uphold, and be dedicated to, our commitment to protect and preserve the whenua that is still in our hands, as tangata whenua, and for the generations to come.”

The only other political party to support the Bill in 2010, was the Green Party, and so it is only fitting that it is that same party that now picks up the baton to amend the Public Works Act.

The Māori Party Bill would have required that any land that was taken under the Public Works Act and was no longer used for that original purpose, to be returned to its original owners.

The Māori Party stood alongside of Patricia Grace, some four years later in 2014, to support the bid of her whānau to protect the last remaining tracts of ancestral whenua from being taken for the development of the Kāpiti Expressway.  The Environment Court decision followed on from the Māori Land Court’s decision in endorsing the whānau position that the land is culturally and historically important.

The Māori Party is pleased that the Public Works (Prohibition of Compulsory Acquisition of Māori Land) Amendment Bill should enable this debate to continue. The Bill would stop the taking of Māori land for public works.

“While the Treaty Settlements process has enabled the theft of tūpuna lands to be addressed, there have been too many recent occurrence of legislative theft by stealth, through Government authorities using the Public Works Act and other means to take land that is in Māori title.”