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Concerns over future of Maori Land Court

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/10/2016

Opposition parties want assurances the Maori Land Court won't be undermined by Ministry of Justice restructuring proposals.

A consultation paper distributed to ministry staff is reported to propose cutting 165 positions and creating 114 new jobs.

The Maori Land Court could face having 35 jobs cut and 15 new positions created.

The Greens are linking that to the government's Te Ture Whenua Maori land reforms.

"It appears the Maori Land Court is being undermined and hollowed out in advance of the government implementing the reforms," the party's co-leader Metiria Turei said on Thursday.

"Indications are that the proposed Maori Land Service would replace core functions of the Maori Land Court, but to date there has been no certainty on what either the new land service or the reformed Land Court will look like."

Labour's Meka Whaitiri says Maori landowners deserve answers about the changes.

"This can't be viewed as a normal restructure within a public service department," she said.

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