The Maori Affairs Committee’s recommendation that Parliament approves a Bill to free up leasehold lands in Waitara is a historic moment for New Zealand, says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.
New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has worked with the Māori Affairs Committee to make amendments to the Bill.
If approved by Parliament, funds from the leasehold land – both rents and sales proceeds – will now be used as follows:
- Fifty per cent of NPDC’s share of rent or sales proceeds will now go to a fund for Manukorihi and Otaraua hapū to enable them to own land in or around Waitara.
- The rest of NPDC’s funds would continue to go into a perpetual fund for the benefit of the Waitara community, with a governance team comprising NPDC and Te Atiawa representatives.
- Taranaki Regional Council’s share of rent or sales proceeds will now be used on the Waitara River catchment by a joint TRC and iwi committee.
The Bill balances the aspirations of hapū and leaseholders as well as NPDC’s legal obligations.
“This is a huge step forward and something we as a community have been working towards for more than 30 years,” says Mayor Holdom.
“Waitara’s story is New Zealand’s story. It’s an example of how we can work through an extraordinarily complex matter that at times hasn’t been easy, to achieve a great result for our community while balancing the needs of all our 80,000 residents.”
A second reading of the Bill will occur in Parliament in the coming weeks. Further detail on the Bill is online at newplymouthnz.com and parliament.nz.