Māori agency concerned Govt's plan to fast-track projects could put Treaty obligations on backburner

A Māori agency is concerned the Government's announcement last week to fast-track shovel-ready projects as an economic booster post Covid-19 could do more harm than good.

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Chair of Federation of Maori Authorities Traci Houpapa says the law change could lead to community needs being overlooked. Source: Breakfast

Federation of Māori Authorities Chair Traci Houpapa told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning the proposed Resource Management Act law change could lead to both obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and the welfare of communities being overlooked.

"The Government quite properly has assumed extraordinary powers in these extraordinary times," Ms Houpapa said.

"Right now, the concern around the RMA changes pending in June is really how do we maintain some line of sight for public in terms of the actions and decisions that are being made across regions and communities as well as how does the Government maintain and uphold its Treaty partnership with Māori during this time."

Ms Houpapa said a council should be set up to consider and adjudicate on what projects can be fast-tracked to ensure communities are heard.

"The fact is, iwi Māori need to be represented there as a Treaty partner, as practitioners and as experts."

Watch the video above for Ms Houpapa's full response to the RMA law changes.