Māori Development Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the allocation of up to $100 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help unlock the potential of whenua Māori.
She says this is the first practical step to reform whenua which will provide economic benefits of up to $650 million for whānau in the future.
She said that as access to capital remains a problem for Māori land owners, the PGF was in a unique position to help these land owners and make the regions prosperous.
As part of whenua reform, Hon Nanaia Mahuta also announced a new cross-government Whenua Māori Programme which would stimulate opportunities for whānau. This would include legislative amendments, new on-the-ground services for Māori land owners and technology improvements.
“This programme will help Māori progress towards having their aspirations for their whenua fully realised; whether they be economic, social, environmental or cultural.
“Small and targeted amendments to the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 would reduce the complexity and compliance Māori land owners encounter when they engage with the Māori Land Court.
“In order to realise the full potential of Māori land, whānau need an effective regulatory framework that is fit-for-purpose, clear, accessible and future proofed.”
At the heart of the Whenua Māori Programme is the roll-out of regional advisory services for Māori land owners to help them meet their needs and aspirations.
“The service would provide whānau with support including establishing land interests and governance through to investment and growth opportunities, including those available through the Provincial Growth Fund.
“Work is already underway with whānau in Te Tai Tokerau and the new service will be available to Māori land owners in Te Tairāwhiti, Waikato and Waiariki in the coming months,” said Nanaia Mahuta.