Questions are being raised about Labour's Crown-Māori Relations portfolio.

The opposition is critical to the amount of money spent on a role that is poorly defined.

The Crown-Māori Relationships Minister Kelvin Davis says the government is on the right track.

“Ā te wiki tū mai nei ko tāku hiahia kia oti ai ngā whakaritenga.

“Kua pai i te Mane kua pahure ake nei kia rongo ai i ngā whakaaro mutunga te rōpū tohutohu i a mātou, kua rongo ai i te Pirimia ō rātou whakaaro nō reira tika tēna ki tāku nei whakaaro.”

National says it supports the role, but Chris Finlayson says it's not very clear what its role is.

“This new body, what's it going to do?

"Is it going to do more than what I set up the post-settlement commitments unit?

"What's its relationship with Te Puni Kōkiri?

"There are just a whole lot of unanswered questions.”

Davis also says in time the relationship the portfolio will have with various agencies will become clear.

“Ko Te Puni Kokiri āna mahi hei tautokongia i a Ngāi Māori mā, ko āku mahi i roto i te 'Crown Māori' hei tautokongia ai i ngā tari kāwanatanga kia tino pakari ai te whanaungatanga i waenganui i te Karauna me Ngāi Māori.”

But Regional Development Minister Shane Jones admits that the portfolio needs more definition.

“I think Kelvin's generally committed to overcoming various blockages between Māoridom and the Crown. 

“I've already involved him in some of my work to do with forestry, but it’s such a broad area and it's important that we support him to pick targets that are deliverable and measurable.”

But while Minister Davis says he has an important role in this, he can't do it alone.

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