No doubt you have seen the recent news reports about surfers and boaties being shot at off Te Maika-Albatross Pt, south of Kawhia Harbour. The danger is that this behaviour could well become more prevalent throughout the country should claims to customary marine title under the Marine and Coastal Area Act succeed.
The Marine and Coastal Area Act is turning out to be a debacle of monumental proportions - it needs to be repealed, and Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed restored. As the claims are proceeding through the court process, a growing number of claimants are even questioning the right of the Attorney General to act in the public interest – obviously preferring him not to do so.
This month we go into some detail about the ‘legal eagle’ Auckland Council has chosen to represent the council in claims over the foreshore and seabed in the Auckland region – laying out the reasons why it is believed he is not the right person for the job if the council is serious about protecting the public interest.
Our working group continues to be busy in other ways too, with several projects on the go. Some of the group are organising a meeting, at which Auckland Councillor Mike Lee will speak about the power play currently underway over the ownership and control of the Hauraki Gulf. We hope you will be able to attend. Please see below for details.
You are welcome to attend our monthly meetings, at which we will give an update on the projects we are currently working on. The details of our next meeting are:
DATE: 7pm Monday 10th September
VENUE: 21 O’Rorke Rd, Penrose
If you have any items for the agenda, please send a message to me at: [email protected]
Thank you for your continued interest and support. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer, or if you need further information or help, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
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Democracy Action invites you to an address by Mike Lee – Waitemata and Gulf Ward Councillor on Auckland Council. Mike is very concerned about proposed threats to democracy as advocated in the Sea Change Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan. He outlined his concerns in an article first published in the Gulf News on 21 June, now available on Mike’s website HERE.
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.
Auckland Council has engaged Paul Beverley to act on the council’s behalf as an interested party in the claims made under the Marine and Coastal Area act. Given his track record we can have very little confidence he is the best person to vigorously defend the rights and interests of the general public.
Nominations are now open for all categories of the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards. New Zealanders are encouraged to nominate the person, community or organisation that is making a positive difference in our communities or to the nation.
We believe Don deserves a medal!
In April 2017 the National Government released a suite of changes to the Resource Management Act 1991. Among those changes was a significant provision to enhance the participation of Maori in council decision-making, enshrined in the legislation as Mana Whakahono a Rohe (MWR) or Iwi Participation Agreements. These agreements give iwi rights to demand more say in planning, monitoring and possibly consenting under the Resource Management Act 1991. Completion of these arrangements is mandatory should a local authority or regional council receive an invitation from an iwi authority.
The Minister for Crown-Maori Relations is due to report back to the Cabinet Crown-Maori Relations Committee this month, with a detailed guide for Ministers and agencies on an engagement model. This is following hui held around the country through April and May, seeking feedback on how to strengthen the relationship between the Crown and Maori.
Our working group has been campaigning to have the new memorial plaque on the Ports of Auckland frontage removed and replaced with one that reflects the facts. As outlined in the August edition of our newsletter, the Ports of Auckland say they are happy with the wording on the plaque and do not intend to change it. The plaque erroneously states "Te Kawau gifted 3000 acres to establish the City of Auckland." It replaces a plaque which referred to a purchase rather than a gift.
The final words go to Dr Muriel Newman, who wrote in her excellent article on the importance of protecting the right to freedom of speech, available HERE.
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.