The New Zealand Maori Council has warned the Far North District Council to keep its hand off Maori land in an ever deepening rift between Maori and Councils across the country. The Councils Executive Director Matthew Tukaki has called the Far Norths plan to apply to the District Court for the confiscation of land due to the non-payment of rates “nothing more than a land grab by modern day pirates”. Tukaki has also reminded Local Government to keep their hands off Maori land while new legislation passes through the Parliament.
“I grow tired of these valueless local bodies running nothing but little empires where they cannot substantively prove they have provided a service for a fee. We have stories from the back of beyond about there being a lack of water infrastructure and services, rubbish collections, lack of community services and more so why would you pay for something that just is not provided.” Tukaki said.
“The first court ordered seizure and sale was a bare block of land in keri-keri; what services could this Council possibly provide to a bare block of land? In December a meeting of the Council was told that another 21 properties with houses on them were next off the block can someone tell me where these 21 families and residents are expected to go? The people of Northland have really hit the jackpot with these Local Government idiots.” Tukaki said.
“So, part of this is about the relationship between the District and Regional Councils – the Regional Council (and let’s face it who know what these bodies actually do in any meaningful way) takes a cut from rates collected from residents. When they don’t get the money, they put pressure on the Local Council and that kicks off a money grab that’s sees Maori lose their land and homes. That itself should tell you its nothing more than a crooked deal.” Tukaki said
“This is also at a time when the Mayor of the Far North admits to a massive under investment in water infrastructure – lets face it these blokes could not organise a sock puppet at a muppet convention.” Tukaki said
Tukaki will be writing to all mayors across the country telling them to reflect on the land seizures and will also warn them that the New Zealand Maori Council will not put up with it. He also indicated that at his next meeting with the Minister or Maori Development and Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta, he will continue to push the business case for an overhaul of the Local Government Act to stop such land grabs – and also to remind the Ministers Mayors that any land grab before the passing of the new
Earlier this year the Government announced All unpaid rates arrears on Māori freehold land will be written off under new legislation to be introduced to Parliament within months.