< December 2017 newsletter


Coastal Claims

Claims under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011

Will the new government fix the problems - or make them worse?

When Labour and New Zealand First were last in office, Helen Clark and Winston Peters acted to ensure the foreshore and seabed remained in public hands. Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 vested ownership of the public foreshore and seabed in the Crown.

However, this was overturned by National's Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act in 2011. But is this new government prepared to stand up for all New Zealanders, and review the Act? Dr Muriel Newman explores this question in an article published on the New Zealand Centre for Political Research (NZCPR) website, here.

Hobson’s Pledge, (an organisation set up to promote a society in which all citizens have the same rights), sought a legal opinion on the Act. This legal opinion, prepared by Franks Ogilvie, is available on the Hobson’s Pledge website, please click here.

Countering the claims.

The law presumes that customary rights have not been extinguished. Therefore, it is up to the public to provide evidence to the court that the claimants do not meet the legal test, that is, that they have not exclusively used and occupied the specified area without substantial interruption from 1840 to the present day, or from the time of customary transfer until the present day.

Applicants for customary marine title and/or protected customary rights may choose to go to court to prove their case, or deal directly with the Crown.

Claims made to the High Court.

We have been informed by the Wellington High Court that there have been 202 applications made in the court. The court advises that there is still an opportunity to apply to register as an interested party in the claims, but do so as soon as possible. Notices to Appear will be accepted until the 26th February 2018. The court will then decide whether to uphold or reject the application to appear as an interested party. For information on how to go about registering as an interested party, visit the Justice Department website, available here. If you have any questions contact the Deputy Registrar of the Wellington High Court - telephone: (04) 914 3649 or email: WellingtonHC@justice.govt.nz

How to find out who is claiming which areas.

To go about registering as an interested party in any of the claims, you will need to work out which claim/s affect which areas of the coast. You can do this by looking at the maps of application areas. NZCPR have made the maps available, please click here. To find out who is claiming a specific area of the coast, look at the relevant map, (can be found in Annexure A), which displays the area each claims cover, accompanied by a number which identifies the claim. The identifying numbers relate to the details of each claim, including the CIV number, found in Annexure B, which follows the maps. N.B. - not all claims are shown on the map, for instance the two claiming the entire coastline are missing. Their details can be found on a table at the end of the Annexure B.

NZCPR has provided a comprehensive resource for the claims process, with updates added as they come to hand, see here.

To assist interested parties in compiling evidence for affidavits we are grateful to have been given permission to use a template prepared by lawyers at Franks Ogilvie for a client who is willing to share it with members of Democracy Action. This document is available here.

Applications made directly to the Crown.

Another 380 applications have been lodged directly with the Crown. Under Crown engagement the public will be able to object to or support any application as part of a public enquiry process seeking submissions. There are no details yet about how we can become involved in these claims. The Justice Department website publicizing applications was recently updated on 1st December, with additional contact details and maps, see here.

We have been busy contacting interested parties.

Letters, via email, have been sent to an extensive list of boating and fishing clubs and marinas, (almost 250 in total), throughout New Zealand, suggesting they register as interested parties in the claims – before it is too late. For a copy of the letter click here. You are welcome to use this as a template for your own letter, (edited as necessary) to send to anyone with an interest in the foreshore and seabed, (which surely must be most New Zealanders!)

We can fight this - ways to become involved:

  • Register as an interested party in the claims, either as an individual or an organisation, or add your details to the Countering the Claims register set up by the NZCPR, available here.
  • Inform others who have an interest in the coast, including friends, families and colleagues, as well as commercial and recreational users, urging them to also take action. 
  • Contact your local authority to find out if they have registered as an interested party in all the claims affecting the coastline of their region. If they haven’t, ask why not.
  • Write to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Treaty Negotiations, Andrew Little. Let them know that you are opposed to private interests controlling the coast, and ask them what they are doing to prevent it.
  • Sign the NZCPR foreshore and seabed petition, click here.

Update on proposed video.

We have now obtained a legal opinion. The final script is underway.

Further reading on the issue:

Dr Hugh Barr, the secretary of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ), explains the issues on Breaking Views, see here.

Dr Barr urges the new government to review the Act, see here.

Go back to the December 2017 newsletter


RELATED ARTICLES


Update on MACAA – serious issues have arisen during the court process

The Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 triggered almost 600 applications for the recognition of customary rights over specified area of the common marine and coastal area. Over 200 claims were lodged in the High Court, the start of a very complicated, long and expensive process. Continue reading

Update on claims to the marine & coastal area

An update on applications lodged in the High Court: The second round of case management conferences are currently underway. The applicants have been requested to provide evidence to back up their claims, including accurate maps. They have also been instructed to deal with the overlapping claims. One of our members attended the conference held on 27th June in the Auckland High Court and will be reporting back to our Working Group at the July meeting. Continue reading

MACA Act is shaping up to be a debacle of monumental proportions

Back in 2003 the Judges in the Court of Appeal case that triggered the foreshore and seabed controversy indicated that there would probably be no more than a few pockets of customary title still in existence. But fifteen years later, following the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Area Act, (MACA Act), we are faced with every square inch of the coastline being claimed, in some places many times over. By the deadline 3 April 2017, 587 claims had been lodged, 202 to be heard in the High Court, the other 385 to be dealt with by Crown engagement, i.e. directly with the Government. Continue reading

Iwi seeking governance of the Marine & Coastal Area, and authority over water

On March 26 Maori claimants from around the country gathered to make submissions to the Waitangi Tribunal for the rights to their coastal water areas, saying that since the foreshore and seabed march in 2004, progress has been slow in recognising iwi governance of their marine and coastal areas. Continue reading

Update On The Marine And Coastal Area Act

Currently, the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, on behalf of the Crown, is engaging with groups where the Crown had an existing commitment before 2017. The groups are: Continue reading

Update on the Coastal Claims debacle

The process is underway to hear the applications for the recognition of customary interests that have been registered in the High Court. The initial focus has been on applications where the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, on behalf of the Crown, has already decided to engage. They are listed on the Ministry of Justice website - to view please click HERE. Continue reading

Urgent: Coastal claims update - can you help?

Countering the Coastal Claims Campaign is seeking to contact people who know the history of the stretch of coastline in the southern Hawke’s Bay from Whangaehu to Cape Turnagain, which is being claimed under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, (claim no. CIV-2011-485-789). If you, or anyone you know is familiar with the coastline, please email claims@nzcpr.com. This is an urgent request, as statements of evidence from interested parties must be filed and served on Ms Clarkson, (on behalf of the applicants), the Attorney General, and the overlapping claimants by 16 January 2019. Continue reading

Campaign to overturn the Marine and Coastal Area Act

The New Zealand Centre for Political Research (NZCPR) has launched a campaign to have the foreshore and seabed returned to public ownership. This would mean repealing the Act, but acknowledge this will not happen without a tsunami of public concern. You can read more about this campaign in a recent NZCPR article ‘Return the Coast to Public Ownership’. Continue reading

Claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act

The first of the High Court cases to be heard is the Clarkson application. Details about this claim (and the other overlapping claims) are available on the NZCPR website. Please click HERE. Continue reading

Campaign to repeal the MACA Act and restore public ownership of the coast

NZCPR has launched a campaign to restore public ownership of the coast. Continue reading

The Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre, University of Waikato, argues for a Treaty partnership power sharing model over the marine and coastal estate

The Māori and Indigenous Governance Centre, University of Waikato, argues for a Treaty partnership power sharing model over the marine and coastal estate. Continue reading

Update On Claims Under The Marine And Coastal Area Act

The High Court’s initial ‘priority’ claim under the Marine and Coastal Area Act is for a stretch of coastline in the southern Hawke’s Bay from Whangaehu to Cape Turnagain - see CIV-2011-485-789 here >https://www.nzcpr.com/marine-and-coastal-area-act-claim-ap…/    Continue reading

Mātaitai Reserves - another vehicle for tribal control of the coast

Those seeking to gain control of the coastline are not confined to making claims under the Marine and Coastal Area Act. Although not in the same league as the nearly 600 claims under the Act, there are also a growing number of areas approved as special customary management zones, such as mātaitai reserves, (customary fishing reserves), and taiapure, (local fisheries which give Maori customary area management rights). We are also seeing increased calls by Maori entities for temporary closures and restrictions on fishing methods, and the introduction of fisheries bylaws. Continue reading

The Claims To Our Coast

There are two pathways claimants to the marine and coastal area could choose to file applications for the recognition of customary interests, i.e. the High Court route and/or direct engagement with the Crown. The Attorney General is currently involved in the first stage of dealing with the claims filed in the High Court. In the meantime, we hear that the government has agreed to negotiate Te Whanau a Apanui’s marine and coast area claim and its historical claim in the one package. See Waatea news item here. Continue reading

Update on claims made under the Marine and Coastal Area Act

Update on claims made under the Marine and Coastal Area Act The first of case management conferences in relation to 202 High Court applications filed under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 have been held in various locations around New Zealand, overseen by the Honourable Justice Collins. The transcripts of these cases are available HERE. Continue reading

Update On Claims Under The Marine And Coastal Area Act

Case management conferences have now been scheduled for the priority cases and their overlapping claims. These will take place between 28th May and 27th June, in 10 locations throughout the country - from Whangarei to Dunedin. These hearings are only for claimants and their counsel. Continue reading

The Ngati Porou bid to secure customary title over the coastline

The Nga Rohe Moana o Ngati Porou Bill (No 2) gives Ngati Porou two years to put in a claim for the recognition of customary marine title under the Marine and Coastal Area Act.  The iwi is seeking customary title and rights over the over a significant part of the East Coast coastline down to Gisborne. Continue reading

Countering the claims to our coasts

We have been very busy publicising the issue by contacting as many people as possible to alert them to the 26 February deadline to register as an interested party in the claims, and advising how to go about doing so. Over December/January over 400 organisations were contacted. This was followed up by a Facebook campaign, which included a video with links to a landing page on our updated website. This was launched on Friday 9th February, running for just over two weeks, and resulted in 10,700 visits to our website. We also sent a link to the video and website to all those on our mailing list. Our members have also been busy informing friends, family and other contacts, drawing their attention to the video and webpage. Continue reading

Countering the claims to our coast

Contrary to assurances given by the government of the day, the avalanche of claims made under the Marine and Coastal Area Act include not only remote areas of the coast, but every inch of the marine and coastal area of New Zealand. More than 580 claims have been registered for recognition of Customary Rights and for Customary Marine Title over 10 million hectares of foreshore and seabed out to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres), all harbours and estuaries, the airspace above and many of the minerals below. Continue reading