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.
The Countering Coastal Claims Campaign has asked for volunteers to read through the transcripts, maybe choosing one which is of particular interest, and share any matters of note. They can be contacted HERE.
The minute of Justice Collins relating to this first round of conferences, ten of them held between 28 May and 27 June, is available HERE. This document contains there is a lot of significant information, as well as important dates.
Other minutes relating to the claims process are available on the Courts Of New Zealand website HERE.
Claimants oppose the role of the Attorney General to act in the public interest
Some of the claimants have questioned the role of the Attorney General, which could lead to the court having to decide whether he can oppose applications “in the public interest”. If the court decides against the involvement of the Attorney General, the question must be asked - will the only opposition come from those who have registered as interested parties? That is, those individuals and groups who will be funding legal costs from their own pockets, while the claimants are able to access generous government funding to pay teams of researchers, “historians,” and legal counsel.
During the case management conferences, many of the claimants expressed frustration with the funding process, saying access to funds is too slow. Concerns have also been raised about limits on funding.
Interested parties who are not applicants
At this stage, the Court intends to accommodate appearances at the second round of case management conferences from parties who wish to make a submission. The Judge has asked for submissions from any interested party who is not an applicant, to file any submissions they wish to make in response to matters arising from the first round of case management conferences, by 30 August 2018.