< September 2018 newsletter


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.

Each claimant group has been given the right to apply to the government for funding, up to $412,000 if engaging with the Crown, and if applying to the High Court, up to $316,750. Even so, during the case management conferences, some of the claimants raised concerns about limits on funding.

Initially, the focus has been on engaging with groups where the Crown had an existing commitment before 2017. The sequence and timing for determination of Crown engagement applications is being developed and information about this will be published on the Justice Department website in due course, see HERE. Under direct Crown engagement the general public will be able to object to or support any application as part of a public enquiry process seeking submissions. According to the latest update, (24 August 2018), this process has not started.

Regarding the applications made to the High Court, the first case management conferences were held in May and June for the eight priority High Court claims, and those overlapping. At these conferences several contentious issues arose, but two in particular stand out. The first relates to the role and status of the Attorney-General in proceedings under the Act. Questions have been raised by several claimants about whether the Attorney-General should be able to oppose the claims “in the public interest”.

It would be a disaster if the position of the Attorney General in the claims process was compromised, as he plays a key role in challenging the veracity of the claims, and advocating for public rights.

The second issue concerns the meaning of sub part 3, clause 58 (1) (b) (i)

“exclusively used and occupied it from 1840 to the present day without substantial interruption.”

Terms such as “exclusively used and occupied”, and “substantial interruption” are not defined by the Act, giving the claimants the opportunity for to argue in favour of a liberal rather than a literal interpretation of the law. If a liberal interpretation of the law is adopted, it is likely that the claimants will argue that ‘exclusive’ customary use and occupation is not extinguished by other people using the area, and since tribal group have still retained their use of the area, they should be awarded title.

The judicial determination of both these matters will affect all the claims. Those of us opposing the claims need to mount the strongest opposition possible. To this end it may become necessary to engage the best legal counsel available, preferably a QC. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

The Clarkson claim, CIV-2011-485-000789 is the first of the priority claims. This is for an area of coastline near Dannevirke – from Porangahau to Cape Turnagain. A link to a copy of the application is available on the NZCPR site, see HERE. If you have not registered with the High Court as an interested party, you can still become involved by registering with the NZCPR’s ‘Countering the Coastal Claims Campaign’, see HERE.

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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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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. 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

Democracy Under Threat

Challenging the lies and propaganda There is a need for all of us to challenge, as they arise, the growing number of baseless claims being touted as facts. NZCPR is a good source of information on the issues, by various authors, as is Kiwi Frontline. Continue reading