< December 2018 newsletter


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.

The role and status of the Attorney General in the proceedings

During the first round of case management conferences for the applicants who have registered for the recognition of customary interests under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, several claimants placed on record their concern about the role and status of the Attorney General (AG) in the proceedings, and whether the AG can oppose applications in the public interest. Counsel for the AG responded with a memorandum, dated 11 September 2018, clarifying the AG’s role as an interested party to all the proceedings – see the memorandum HERE.

Perturbed by what the memorandum says, and with the realisation there may be no Government opposition at all for some claims, we have written to both the Attorney General and the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, asking who in Government will be acting on behalf of the public interest regarding the applications for Customary Marine Title and Protected Customary Rights lodged in the High Court.

The office of the Attorney-General replied with the following statement: “As the matters you raised fall under the portfolio responsibilities of Hon Little, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, your correspondence was referred to their office for consideration”.

Andrew Little’s response was more forthcoming. He states that the Attorney General represents the public interest by supporting the purposes of the Act. He goes on to say that the AG will not automatically oppose all applications. However, he writes, where the AG is satisfied the applicant has not been able to meet the tests in the Act he will advise the court accordingly.

For a copy of Andrew Little’s response, please click HERE.

Register your interest in helping to oppose the claims

Given that there is no guarantee the claims will be opposed by the Government, (nor local authorities if Auckland Council is an example), it is very important that the general public become involved. To this end the Countering Coastal Claims Campaign is building up a knowledge bank of information about public use of each claimed area by gathering evidence that can be used to refute the claimant’s arguments that they have used the area exclusively and continuously since 1840. If you have historical evidence that you think will be useful in refuting any of the claims, please register your interest with the ‘Countering the Coastal Claims Campaign’. This campaign is aiming to ensure that whenever a coastal claim is being considered by the Court or the Minister, there is information available to help to counter any misrepresentations.

Claims to Auckland’s coastline

Auckland Council has registered as an interested party in the 34 claims for the region’s coastline. We have been informed by a senior advisor at the council’s democracy services unit that the council is neither opposing nor supporting the applications, see HERE. We requested clarification from the council as to what their intentions are in relation to the claims. Their reply offers no comfort – there is no mention of Auckland Council acting to defend the public interest. This unwelcome news is compounded by the confirmation that they have engaged Paul Beverley as legal counsel, saying he “… is well placed to ensure Council is able to exert positive influence on behalf of Council”. (Readers of the October and November issues of the Democracy Action newsletter will understand why the unease about Paul Beverley acting for Auckland Council).

The Council’s stance begs the questions - is Auckland Council’s obligation to act in the best interests of the people – all the people - being compromised when it comes to a case of Maori interests v. the interests of other citizens? Is it possible the Council will not defend the public interest because of the commitments it has made to Maori in statutory provisions in various documents? One example is the Auckland Plan 2050, with its stated intention to allow for more direct influence and greater exercise of authority by mana whenua over natural resources, alongside the references to partnership and co-governance with Maori, which are peppered throughout the Plan.

The following excerpts from the Auckland Plan give an indication of the policies Auckland Council has endorsed:

What to do!

Let councillors know what you think about the Council not defending the public interest. It is clear at least some of the councillors have not been informed about how the Council’s Legal Team are dealing with the claims. Auckland members, go see your councillor, taking along a copy of the list of applications to the High Court under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act relating to the Auckland region, available HERE, pointing out the council position (as advised by James Stephens Senior Advisor, Democracy Services), that it is neither opposing nor supporting the applications. Ask if the council will be providing statements of evidence about public use of each claimed area that can be used to refute the claimant’s arguments that they have used the area exclusively and continuously since 1840. You could also give your opinion on Paul Beverley acting on your behalf, given his obvious bias towards Maori interests, as outlined HERE.

A note to those who live outside Auckland

Ask your local body for a list of the applications for the recognition of the customary rights of iwi, hapū and whānau in the common marine and coastal area, made under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011, and find out how they propose to deal with these. If they follow Auckland Council’s example, and state they will be not necessarily be opposing the claims, talk to your councillors.

Go back to the December 2018 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

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

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

Treaty settlements over the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, and the Hauraki Gulf

There is a very real danger co-governance arrangements like the Tūpuna Maunga Authority are being considered for the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, and the Hauraki Gulf. Continue reading

North Head now controlled by Tupuna Maunga Authority

As part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, 14 volcanic cones were given to 13 iwi and hapū of Auckland when the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed passed into law in 2014. North Head (Maungauika) is the last of these to come under the control of the Tupuna Maunga Authority (TMA) - when it was transferred from the Department of Conservation on January 18.  Continue reading

Supreme Court decision gives weight to the ‘principles’ of the Treaty

An Auckland iwi, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust, has won a Supreme Court case giving it the right to re-apply for exclusive rights to conduct commercial operations on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, (situated in the Hauraki Gulf). The main issue was the interpretation of section four of the Conservation Act, "to give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi". Continue reading

Implementation of Treaty settlements creating significant cost pressures

The Waikato Regional Council’s draft submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Local Government Funding and Financing reveals that the implementation of Treaty of Waitangi settlements creates significant cost pressures for Council. The submission states that “the Council wishes to work with its iwi partners in partnership but notes that the costs to do so is significant to its ratepayers”. Continue reading

Bruce Moon talks on the Treaty

Bruce Moon, a retired physicist and avid historian, was invited by the Nelson Institute to give a talk at Nelson’s Elma Turner Library, on 8th April. He chose to speak on New Zealand's "fake history" related to Treaty of Waitangi issues, billed as “Twisting the Treaty and other fake history”. Continue reading

The widespread re-writing of our history – lies, lies and more lies!

In an article published on Breaking Views on November 14th Bruce Moon, a retired computer pioneer and author of ‘Real Treaty; False Treaty - The True Waitangi Story’, laments the insidious effort to erase our true history, accounts of which appear in the news media almost every day. Continue reading

The Waitangi Tribunal – a corrupt system?

Dr John Robinson, in an open letter sent to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations on November 25th, is highly critical of the Waitangi Tribunal, and is calling for a new approach. Dr Robinson has based his proposal on his personal experiences and observations. Continue reading

Lies, lies And More Lies - Challenging The Propaganda

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984 The media and iwi appear to be on a crusade to ‘appropriate’ the truth. For instance, over the past couple of weeks both Radio NZ and the East & Bays Courier have featured items whereby there have been claims made that Ngati Whatua Ōrākei gifted the land for the establishment of Auckland. Continue reading

Waikato Tainui Pushing For The Next Stage Of Treaty Settlements

In May 1995 the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement with Waikato-Tainui that included cash and land valued at $170 million (since topped up with an additional $260 million, with more to come). The public was told at the time the settlement was "full and final". However, full and final it does not appear to be as the iwi moves beyond negotiating for economic benefits to pushing for statutory power through co-governance arrangements, seats at the council table, and the RMA. Continue reading