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Report on Conference on Recommended Changes in Māori Land Legislation.

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University of Auckland, 13–15 May 1966,

Published Year

This report, commonly referred to as the Prichard-Waetford Report, is a significant document stemming from a conference held at the University of Auckland from May 13 to 15, 1966.

The gathering brought together diverse stakeholders, including scholars, policymakers, and community representatives, to deliberate on proposed amendments to Māori land legislation. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the discussions, recommendations, and insights shared during the conference, particularly issues surrounding land fragmentation. Proposed changes include: (i) raising the threshold for classifying uneconomic interests from 25 to 100 pounds, (ii) transferring compulsory purchase power from the Māori Trustee to the Crown with broad disposal rights, (iii) granting administrators the authority to sell intestate Māori land interests, allowing the Crown to purchase such interests after two years, and (iv) allocating increased parliamentary funding and administrative resources for the acquisition of Māori land. It serves as a pivotal resource for scholars, policymakers, and individuals interested in understanding the evolving landscape of Māori land rights and the legislative considerations aimed at addressing contemporary challenges. The document stands as a primary source providing valuable perspectives on the proposed changes to Māori land legislation and the broader context of indigenous land governance in New Zealand during the mid-20th century. However, as Kawharu wrote in a follow up paper, “Seldom has a document been so eagerly awaited by the Māori people as the Prichard-Waetford Report on their lands. Yet it contains little to reward them, for although much of the Report is good, much is also bad and all has been put together with evident haste.”

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