Maori Party supporting change to 'racist' legislation

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell. (File)
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell. (File)

The Maori Party has thrown its support behind calls for legislation which discriminates against Maori to be changed.

The 1962 Maori Community Development Act deems it an offence to provide alcohol at a gathering of Maori people, and also gives Maori wardens the power to kick Maori out of bars or confiscate their car keys, Radio New Zealand reports.

A lawyer in Wellington, told RNZ he was concerned about the provisions and said they were racist and outdated.

Maori Party co-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell agreed with the sentiment and said that it pays to acknowledge how long ago the legislation was written, but it is in need of review.

"The circumstances in which it was written was back in the 1960s and the circumstances at the time were far and away different from what we experience now. I think the former minister recognised that, as did the Maori Affairs select committee, we believed it was about time to have a review and attempted to take out the parts that could be dealt with."

According to RNZ, Mr Flavell also mentioned that other parts of the law needed revising too, and these have been brought up with the Government and other authorities.

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