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will iwi and Finlayson start taking our beaches?
18 March 2012
continue to circulate about sweet deals that Public Foreshore
& Seabed Minister Christopher Finlayson is doing in secret
with coastal iwi, especially in Northland on Ninety Mile
Beach, one of our most iconic beaches.
Coastal Coalition was set up in May 2010 to support public (ie
Crown) ownership of New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed, for
all New Zealanders. But John Key with Maori Party support,
passed the Marine and Coastal Area (M&CA) Act last April.
This removes Crown ownership, and allows iwi Customary Marine
Title, in spite of 90 percent of public submissions opposing
it. This was even though Key had said that, if there wasn’t
broad agreement, the legislation would not proceed. It’s a
pity many people back then considered him honourable, and took
him at his word.
May 2011, many iwi were talking loudly of claiming their
foreshore and seabed. The Coastal Coalition asked under the
Official Information Act, for the areas that tribal groups
were claiming. Three iwi had lodged claims –
- Te Raroa
– the lower half of Ninety Mile Beach and the coast from
Ahipara to Hokianga Harbour, including Herekino and
Wangape harbours, and the northern side of the Hokianga
- Ngati Porou ki
– Kennedy Bay south past Whangamata, east Coromandel
- Ngati Pahauwera
claims in coastal northern Hawke’s Bay
immediately led the Minister Chris Finlayson, the architect of
the Act, to discourage the likely flood of claims, saying no
claims would be dealt with before the November Election. The
gold-rush of iwi claims temporarily stopped.
there are twelve claims from the 2004 Act, which are being
taken through the High Court. These include Ngati Porou’s
claims to East Coast foreshore and seabed, including wahi
tapu. We are still seeking information through the Official
Information Act, as to all the claims that have now been
July 2011 the Coastal Coalition launched a Citizens’
Initiated Referendum (CIR) to repeal the racist M&CA Act,
and return our foreshore and seabed to full public (Crown)
ownership. The first step of this CIR, is to collect the
signatures of voters, who oppose the Act. If over 10percent of
voters sign by July, then a national referendum will be held,
so the public can show its preference.
voters who oppose this unjust Act, should urgently sign the
CIR Petition, and encourage others to do so.
public have not fully recognised the seriousness of the
M&CA Act. It covers a very large area, the whole of the
territorial sea, namely out to 22 km from the nearest shore.
This sea area equals 35 percent of New Zealand’s land area,
and covers an enormous 105,000 square km.
Marine Title will give exclusive rights to successful tribal
claimants to set up wahi tapu – areas where the public is
forbidden from going, and can be convicted and fined up to
$5,000 if they do. The tribe is allowed to appoint its own
wardens to patrol these areas. As well, fisheries officers
will patrol them and will prosecute any people not authorised
by the tribe to fish there. Wahi tapu are being discussed on
Ninety Mile Beach, to at least cover shellfish beds and good
well the iwi owners gain sole rights to control aquaculture,
minerals and most facilities in their customary title area.
They can impose additional iwi charges for using such
ownership away from the public is equally disadvantageous for
Maori. Where coasts are privatised, Maori that are not in the
privatising tribal group, will also be excluded from wahi tapu
areas, just as non-Maori New Zealanders will be. Maori
Supremacists see this law as the first step to them owning all
of the foreshore and seabed.
this National Party Act, last year, the Foreshore and Seabed
had been publicly owned since 1840. British law from 1840 on,
prohibited cannibalism, and slavery, two activities prevalent
with tribes prior to 1840, as well as establishing Crown
(public) ownership of the Territorial Sea. No other democratic
country has laws that privatise its foreshore and seabed, and
most look on it as being a. public commons owned by all, with
everyone responsible for it.
process for Government giving away Customary Marine Title,
called “by agreement” is an entirely secret political
deal, that does not require any cross-examined proof. All
other interested parties such as Councils, commercial and
recreational groups or the public, are locked out. Once
Government agrees and signs a deal, it will be rubber-stamped
by the farcical process of an Act of Parliament, by
National’s majority, without any changes. An alternative
approach is via the High Court. But this requires proof of
relatively continuous occupation since 1840. So iwi do not
these dictatorial National Government processes for racially
privatising our previously public foreshore and seabed, I urge
you to sign the Coastal Coalition’s petition to scrap this
unjust, divisive and racist Act.
CIR Petition states: Should
the Marine & Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 be
replaced by legislation that restores Crown ownership of the
foreshore and seabed?.
Please encourage others to sign it too as soon as possible.
Download copies of the Petition at www.CoastalCoalition.co.nz.
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