Budget 2016 provides $14.2 million to support the establishment of the new Māori Land Service, which is a key element of the current reform of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993.
The $8 million of operating funding over two years, plus $6.2 million of capital, will be used to engage with Māori landowners and others in the design and establishment of the new Māori Land Service, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.
The Māori Land Service will provide vital administrative services to Māori landowners and will take over some of the existing administrative functions of the Māori Land Court.
“This is about providing Māori land owners with a one-stop shop where they can access official information about their land and get practical support to make informed decisions about their whenua. This includes services such as mediation and advice on setting up appropriate governance structures,” Mr Flavell says.
The continued provision of frontline support services for Māori land and management by Te Tumu Paeroa is also recognised in Budget 2016.
Te Tumu Paeroa will receive $3.7 million of operating funding over the next four years to assist Māori landowners to strengthen their governance arrangements. This will help to improve land utilisation and asset management, and to increase landowners’ financial returns.
“This additional funding will help Te Tumu Paeroa assist landowners to shift from passive leasing to more active use, particularly in high priority regions with significant Māori land such as Northland, East Coast, Bay of Plenty and Manawatū/Whanganui,” Mr Flavell says.
“Te Tumu Paeroa has a critical role in delivering core services to the 92,000 land owners and 1986 trusts and other entities it administers.
“The initiative will promote land productivity and complements the current reform of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act. Both are focused on the effective utilisation and retention of Māori land for future generations.”