$300mil incorporation wants solution to Māori land

By Heeni Brown

Paraninihi ki Waitotara supports the proposed Ture Whenua Māori Bill but the $300 million incorporation wants a better solution to the fragmentation of shares in Māori Land. 

They are responsible for 20,000 hectares of Māori Land in Taranaki and when it comes to the fragmentation of shares - where land is succeeded to in the Māori Land Court is of major concern.

Paraninihi ki Waitotara Chairman Hinerangi Raumati says, "If we are getting shareholders with less than one share and there are many shareholders with less than one share then we will suffer from disengagement."

Raumati says, "We've actually put in quite an effort into actually thinking through maybe different types of shares where economic interests are maintained or ownership interests are maintained and other benefits can still be accessed where maybe dividends can't be."

Fighting for the smaller share-holder and land owner is MP for Te Tairāwhiti.

Meka Whaitiri says, "Unlike larger corporations, the trusts are associated with the Federated Māori Authorities they've got access to resources, they've also got the ear of ministers, so their point of view on this bill is easily heard and understood."

The Minister responsible for this bill Te Ururoa Flavell doen't have the same opinion.

Flavell says, “I disagree with what she says because the smaller shareholders and the smaller trusts are being taken care of.”

The bill is expected to reach its second reading by the end of the year.