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Dr Muriel Newman

A Bombshell Ruling

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A bombshell ruling from the High Court opens the door to tribal control of New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed. It represents a major setback for those who believe the country’s coastline and Territorial Sea should be owned by no-one and protected by the Crown for the benefit of all.

The Edwards case is the first of some 200 Marine and Coastal Area Act applications for customary interest currently before the High Court. Collectively these overlapping claims by Maori tribal groups cover all New Zealand beaches, the sea out to 12 nautical miles, estuaries, and harbours. In his precedent-setting decision, Justice Churchman found in favour of Bay of Plenty tribal claimants, giving them pretty much everything they wanted.

It’s a radical decision that essentially ignores the intention of Parliament by elevating the status of ‘tikanga’ – Maori customary values and practices – above the common law requirements that were meant to ensure claimants met stringent tests that would restrict title to minor pockets of the coast. The Churchman decision is anything but restrictive and if not overturned on appeal is likely to result in New Zealand’s entire coastline being handed over to Maori tribal interests.

Before we examine the details of the judgement, let’s remind ourselves of how we got to this point where private tribal groups may soon control New Zealand’s coast.

Under British common law – and affirmed by a 1963 Court of Appeal ruling – the ownership of New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed was vested in the Crown.

But as the result of a protracted dispute between tribal groups and a council over a marine farming application that ended up in the Court of Appeal, that 1963 ruling was overturned by a highly controversial 2003 judgement. In her Ngati Apa decision, Chief Justice Sian Elias determined that pockets of customary interest in the foreshore and seabed might still exist, and that such claims should be heard in the Maori Land Court.

With hundreds of claims for title to the coast flooding in, Helen Clark’s Labour Government legislated to restore Crown ownership through the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act. While the new law provided special rights to tribal groups that could prove their customary interest in the High Court, there were on-going complaints that the bar was set too high for claims to succeed.

The Maori Party campaigned for a law change, and once in coalition with John Key’s National Government, the Marine and Coastal Area Act was introduced to repeal Crown ownership and open the area for tribal claims.

New Zealand’s coastal marine area consists of 10 million hectares of the richest natural resource in the country. It is defined as the area covering the distance between the average spring high tide waterline and the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, along with the airspace above, the water, and the subsoil, bedrock and mineral wealth below.

The tests were high – to gain a Customary Marine Title (CMT), applicants had to satisfy section 58 of the Act: “hold the specified area in accordance with tikanga” and “have exclusively used and occupied the area without substantial interruption from 1840 to the present day.”

Overlapping claims, which are inherently inconsistent with the concept of ‘exclusive’ use, were expected to be ruled out, as were claims for areas of the coast where adjoining land had been confiscated, or where third-party use resulted in substantial interruptions. Since tribal groups had limited ability to navigate far from shore in 1840, it was also expected that few Territorial Sea claims would succeed. 

Claimants gaining customary title to the coast would secure an invaluable property right akin to ownership. This includes veto rights over all resource consents and conservation activities; involvement in coastal planning and policy development; the ability to charge commercial operators, impose rahui, and restrict public access through wahi tapu; and ownership rights to all non-nationalised minerals – including royalties from existing mining operations, back-dated to when applications were first submitted.

While the law protects the rights of commercial fishing, navigation, and public access, as well as preventing customary title holders from regulating consent applications for existing marine reserves, aquaculture activities, or essential infrastructure operated by the Crown, port companies, and councils, expansion plans can be vetoed. 

The Act specified two pathways for claimants – a hearing in the High Court or direct negotiation with the Minister of Treaty Settlements. On the eve of the seven-year deadline for lodging claims in April 2017, more 500 overlapping claims for the entire New Zealand coastline flooded in – some 200 for the High Court and over 300 for Crown Engagement. 

To fund High Court claims, applicants had access to Crown funding of up to $316,750. No financial assistance was available for those wanting to oppose the claims, and as a result opposition was limited, despite widespread public concern.

That’s when the NZCPR stepped in to raise funds to enable a voluntary community group, the Landowners Coalition, to oppose the claims in the public interest. Working with the law firm of former MP Stephen Franks, their focus was on the first two claims – Edwards and Clarkson – in the hope that ensuring sensible outcomes would have a precedent effect on all other claims.

With that in mind, let’s look into the 215-page Edwards decision.

Altogether fifteen applicants with overlapping claims participated in the nine-week hearing in the Rotorua High Court to determine whether they were entitled to CMTs or the lesser Protected Customary Rights (PCRs) for a 44 km stretch of the Bay of Plenty coastline around Opotiki from Maraetotara in the west to Te Rangi in the east, and out to the edge of the Territorial Sea.

Justice Churchman awarded three CMT orders: a joint CMT between six applicants for the coast from Maraetotara to Tarakeha and out 12 nautical miles; a single CMT between Tarakeha and Te Rangi and out 12 nautical miles; and a joint CMT between seven applicants for the western part of Ohiwa Harbour.

In addition, six applicants received PCR orders for a wide range of activities including collecting whitebait, practicing baptism, launching boats, monitoring users of the area, and gathering sand, shells, and driftwood.

Justice Churchman acknowledged the importance of his ruling: “Many of the issues that arise have not previously been addressed by the Courts. Therefore, this decision has implications for some 200 other such claims currently before this Court.”

In the prelude he states: “Prior to the end of the 18th century, Maori were the sole occupants of New Zealand. They held, and exercised, sovereignty over the whole country…

“Up until the assertion of sovereignty by Great Britain in 1840, the sole system of law in New Zealand was tikanga Maori. Unsurprisingly, to the extent that it related to the foreshore and seabed, tikanga bore little resemblance to the legal system of Great Britain which had its origins in Greek and Roman law as developed by the common law. Tikanga reflected the belief systems, values and life experience of the tangata whenua.

“In the Maori view of creation, the central figures are Papatuanuku (the earth mother) and Ranginui (the sky father) with the earth being created when these two were thrust apart by their children. Ancestors are the source of whakapapa and whakapapa is a tikanga that dictates Maori societal norms and relationships. In tikanga rather than there being an emphasis on exclusive individual or collective title to any part of land, the focus was on the use of and relationship with resources of the land and sea including manaakitanga. Perhaps most importantly for this litigation the concept of exclusion was fundamentally inconsistent with the tikanga values of manaakitanga and whakapapa.”

With these views it is unsurprising that in the Judge’s decision, ‘tikanga’ over-rules the common law section 58 requirements of the Act.

In terms of ‘holding’ a claimed area in accordance with tikanga, Justice Churchman ruled: “The task for the Court in considering whether the requirements of s 58(1)(a) of the Act have been met is therefore not to attempt to measure the factual situation against western property concepts or even the tests at common law for the establishment of customary land rights. The critical focus must be on tikanga and the question of whether or not the specified area was held in accordance with the tikanga that has been established.”

The Judge explained the decision on whether applicants indeed held their claimed area in accordance with tikanga was determined by Maori advisors appointed by the Court: “The proper authorities on tikanga are those living persons who retain the matauranga, which is the knowledge or wisdom passed down to them by their ancestors… The two pukenga appointed were Dr Hiria Hape and Mr Doug Hauraki… The aspects which the pukenga suggested should influence the assessment of whether or not the specified area was held in accordance with tikanga, were identified as being ‘mana, tino rangatiratanga, kaitiakitanga, utu, tapu and take-utu-ea’.”

When it came to the question of what constituted the “exclusive use and occupation” of a claimed area, Justice Churchman again rejected the Western concepts of property rights argued by the Attorney General and Landowners Coalition – that to succeed applicants must provide evidence of acts of exclusion and physical control of the area – as being inconsistent with tikanga.

He ignored concerns over ‘overlapping’ claims to adopt the Canadian concept of “shared exclusivity”: “I have concluded that the structure of the Act is consistent with a jointly held CMT rather than overlapping CMTs… If there were multiple CMTs for the same area there would be practical problems with the exercise of the rights which flow from the grant of CMT. CMT confers on an applicant group the right to use, benefit from or develop a CMT area including deriving a commercial benefit. CMT rights can also be delegated and transferred. There would also be practical problems if two groups held CMT and wanted to exercise the various rights…”

With regards to the “substantial interruption” test, while the Attorney General and the Landowners Coalition submitted that land confiscations, coastal infrastructure, and third-party use and occupation constituted substantial interruptions, Justice Churchman ruled the matter should “be determined by an examination of the facts in each case, not by applying a presumption”.

To that end, he has scheduled a further hearing in the Edwards case for 14 February 2022 to consider whether parts of the awarded CMTs need to be excluded to accommodate such ‘interruptions’ as marine farms or sewerage outfall pipes.

Justice Churchman maintains that others using a claimed area would not prevent a CMT being awarded because tikanga renders such matters irrelevant: “One of the consequences of holding an area in accordance with tikanga is the obligation of manaakitanga. That obligation can extend as far as sharing the resources of the takutai moana with non-Maori”.

In other words, contrary to what the Act demands, it appears CMT will be granted over an application area even if there is evidence of substantial interruptions – in that case, the source of the interruptions, would simply be excluded from the CMT.

This week’s Guest Commentator, former Judge and Law Lecturer Anthony Willy, has read the judgement and is deeply concerned:

“It is simply not tenable to import spiritual beliefs and ancient codes of conduct into the fabric of the contemporary common law of New Zealand. The reason is obvious beyond debate. The law must be certain, readily available to all, and obeyed by all.”

He believes the decision must be appealed: “The implications of this judgment are deeply disturbing. It is to be hoped that the appellate courts will restore some sanity and certainty to the common law and at least confine the notion of Tikanga to the historical relationships and understandings of those seeking a right to the foreshore of New Zealand greater than that enjoyed by the public at large.”

We too believe this decision must be appealed, otherwise the whole coast is in danger of falling under tribal control.

The Office of the Attorney General may be considering an appeal, but in this political climate, even if an appeal did go ahead, there is no knowing how vigorous it would be.

The only other potential appellant is the Landowners Coalition but that would be contingent on significant fundraising. There are twenty working days to lodge an appeal – if you would like to support this cause, please click HERE.

Please note – you can register for our free weekly newsletter by clicking HERE.


*Do you believe the decision of Justice Churchman needs to be appealed?   
Note: Please feel free to use the poll comments to share your views on any of the issues raised in this week’s newsletter.


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


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my donation sent…..couldn’t be a more biased result, ex Maori land court judge, assisted by 2 Maori advisers ?What next in the way of transparency? alan
Yes. Multi-cultural New Zealand needs this to happen Miles
Absolutely. Richard
we are all New Zealanders and share the country together. This whole thing is racist!!! For traditional Maori fishing rights they should have to fish in the traditional manner of the way they did at the signing of the treaty. Not with European boats, net ,lines hooks etc!! Geoff
As Anthony Willy has pointed out, spiritual and customary aspects have no place in the exercising of common law–and common sense law. At risk of offending them, the two Maori people appointed under Maori custom, with a ‘special gift’ of knowing the distant pass and possessing wisdom thereof, would obviously in these circumstances, absolutely endorse the Maori perspective. And who could challenge that? But such ‘evidence’ is heresay, nebulous and loaded with subjective perspective; such qualities, have little or no place in a legal system, destined to deliver fairness and equity to the whole citizens of the land. If spiritual/customary values permeate the backbone of the law to this extent, then this opens up a vast gamut of illogical, dangerous and irrational options, for other individuals with a ‘conviction’ to pursue through the legal system–if one group has this privilege then so should all others. Further, the only solid grounds that Churchman bases his decision on, is that Maori were the sole occupiers of NZ, prior to the European arrivals. Firstly, this is claimed, not verifiable by any means and secondly, the Moriori’s were here before arrival of the Maori. It remains absolutely unproven, to claim that these former residents only occupied the chatham islands. Further, as stated previously, the Moriori’s have the only right of claim as Indigenous people to NZ. and even that’s tenuous. Elevating the enforcement of the common law into the spatial, fourth dimension, immediately removes any value and application of the only broadbase and realistic network that we have, as a monitor of social conduct. The prominent issue here, is the status of Peter Churchmans mind. Alan
the precedental nature of this determination have far reaching consequences for the fundamental tenet of one people one law and one nation Kerry
This ruling will forever change the face of this Nation excluding all but Maori from our coastline and wealth of reserves. Diane
Absolutely insane ruling. Judy
Stupid Alan
Justice so demands rcke
Absolutely Barbara
In his second act of betrayal after UNDRIP, J. Key foisted MACA on New Zealand in the immediate aftermath of the tragic Christchurch earthquake – shame on him for this appeasement to Maori agitators. Now NZ is going backwards fast to tribal control and mumbo jumbo. We need new media here like Fox news in the US to tell the truth. Monica
Without question – Justice Churchman’s rulings seem to be way out of touch with both the prevailing law and the beliefs of the majority of New Zealanders. How can a religious belief or cultural concept be interpreted as a consistent law governing 85% of the nation that does not share such beliefs or dogma. I a law is top be obeyed it has to be at the very least consistent and represent a majority view. Justice Churchman’s rulings do not come anywhere meeting this criteria and need to be reversed with urgency. Michael
One Law for all New Zealanders. It’s a land/sea grab. Jill
The coastline and territorial Sea should be owned by ALL the people of NZ. It should be managed by a new separate government department. Renewable licences should be issued to control certain activities. Certain areas would be zoned for certain activities , mainly for the protection of that activity-and so on. I can write the operating manual. bruce s
We are one people not 2 as the maori elite are pushing for. david
NZ for everyone. Despite race. Gary
This decision of Churchman is a kick in the face for all New Zealanders. If enacted it will cause grave consequences for the country regardless of race. I consider that Churchman is not fit to make such a decision as it will split the country into a “them and us” situation which would cause real racial problems for the future. Brian
According to reputable Maori dictionaries, ‘Tikanga’ is a noun that when translated into NZ English has several meanings such as, correct procedure, custom, habit, lore, method, manner, rule, way, code, meaning, plan, practice, convention, protocol. Maori say it is the customary system of values and practices that have developed over time and are deeply embedded in the social context. As Nagti Pakeha are the largest iwi in this country, making up 70.2% (source: Stats NZ census 2018), I suggest that the Judicial system should rule that Europeans definitely have Tikanga to this country’s coastline and Territorial Sea. They have been in NZ for several centuries exercising Tikanga. Global understanding is that New Zealand is a sovereign nation with one democratically elected government. Maori is a European name given to the consolidated group of Polynesian tribes who immigrated to these shores. They are not and never have been a Nation. Martin
Absolute Racism at a very worrying time. Dell
If this goes ahead it will be potentially the ‘thin end of the wedge’ putting the rights of the majority of New Zealanders under the heavy foot of the minority. This is unjust and anti-democratic. Nola
The decision is clearly racist and hate-filled against the Citizens of New Zealand. Meng Foon should be shouting the loudest in this instance Mike
If Justice Churchman is prepared to take more notice of spiritual nonsense such as explained by Dr. Newman then there is no future for anyone who is down to earth in the rule of law in NZ. Maoris are obviously still enraptured with this airy fairy stupidity as it suits their purpose to gain control of all the seashore surrounding NZ. The result will of course be that kiwis will be barred from the free use of our beaches unless approved by local Maoris or willing to pay the entrance fee they will undoubtedly demand. In just the same way they attempted to close off the whole of Northland on account of covid 19 which police were unable to or unwilling to prevent. In the same way the present demand by Nga Tahu to control water supply in the South Island will enable this excessively wealthy tribe, enabled by their tax free status, to charge an extra fee for all water supplied by local councils to cities and towns residences, already metered and charged by local councils. More gimme, gimme, gimme. Chris
There needs to be common sense and the foreshore and seabed must be available to all New Zealanders Christine
ASAP. Jacinda WHAT are you doing to our country. I believed in you as a great leader but if you allow this to stay with out appeal then you should resign., before we have violence and blood shed, that is what this judgement will bring. If no appeal then Labour should be out Alfred
It is absolutely RACIST Alan
Absolutely. This flies in the face of what NZ has stood for all of these years. Maori, at least those that are left alive as a result of being saved by the Treaty, are a small minority and most of them barely qualify as Maori having so little Maori blood that it is becoming laughable. Why should they be given anything different to all other NZ citizens? They don’t deserve it although they have done very well in “owning” the prison population. Garry
TreasonThe crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government. This is what labour is doing to to our commonwealth country. They are betraying the essence of democracy. No to separatists policy. No to co- governance.. No to giving away New Zealand resources to a minority. cal
This Judge should be disbarred for life Peter
This could become a very big wedge! Nick
wot is a Maori ?????? Brian
The foreshore and seabed is owned and enjoyed by all New Zealanders, regardless of when they emigrated to New Zealand which includes our dear Maori brethren. To rule otherwise as the High Court has done is not only patently wrong, it is in itself racist, a more common name for this would be Apartheid. John
Yes and soon Athol
nz is supposed to be one people Les
It doesn’t even uphold the treaty of Waitangi which gave Maori rights as British subjects subject to them surrendering some of the rights they had. Tony
Absolutely we need an appeal! It belongs to all citizens of NZ and should not be controlled by anyone but the elected Crown Megan
Of course. This govt is trying to create apartheid government. Simon
Sack him! Russ
what happened to us being one people. Ray
This will divide NZ and lead to civil strife Mark
The fore Shore and sea bed do not belong to anyone they are there for all. No one tribe has any right to exclusive ownership which includes all mineral wealth and sea life also air space. No the Maori are not entitled to anything. They are not the indigenous people of New Zealand this as been proven yet they are given more than anyone else. David
General: the ruling is sufficiently vague as to guarantee future conflict rather than improving Maori/other relations in Aotearoa. Cite: Clauses 148 and 175. The only way forward is to share. That means others who have grabbed foreshore properties might have to relinquish that exclusive access. For the government to govern and provide damage mitigation (climate change) or rescue facilities, or defence of our shores capability, the government NEEDS to retain control, for the common good. Worst case scenario. No/limited access and then, in a crisis, cries for Govt to rescue a situation and all taxpayers to fund that mitigation/rescue, whatever form it takes. Result; massive resentment and conflict. Jennifer
foreshore and sea bed belongs everyone stewart
Stop this separatism nonsense now before it the outcome chaos . Vivian
surely a grave injustice to other NZers barry
we all know the current law is an ass in thought as well as in deed so i suggest these wide of the mark justice people like churchman should be stripped of there titles and resources and go back to the future whatever it may be. The position of giving Maori any thing they ask for has reached an end in my considered opinion and i can add up a list of numbers and make whatever I want them to be and this appears to be the way the law is operating now with the early settlers of New Zealand David
This decision = civil war. Steve
ruling rubbish colin
We have to hope that higher courts have more sense than a single person who makes the ruling in the High Court. Andrew
Bloody hell ,what next.!!!! Barry
it MUST be appealed John
Common law for all must be clear and concise. New Zealand’s multicultural makeup has to be encompassed with rational and fair directions that are clearly understood by folk from any ethnicity. A safe home for everyone. susan
The seabed and foreshore is for ever Kiwi with no ownership for anyone other than Crown owned. This is going to end up a civil war which no one wants. Its like europeans and other races have no rights in our country. This is happening at Delaware Bay Nelson. I fully support you please support our Parliament Petition Peter Ruffell. Peter
frankly nothing surprises me in the current environment . it seems the lunatics are running the asylum . mark
the bombshell has to be stopped before it explodes killing our NZ LIFE STYLE william
Every believer and supporter of democracy and equality must assist in whatever way they can to appeal against this ruling. Miriama
It needs to be bombed. Mark
The Treaty guaranteed equal rights! Mark
Most definitely Jane
New Zealand’s foreshore and seabed must remain in ownership of the crown. not just a small number of Tribal Elite. Peter
Maori have no more right than other new zealanders under the treaty. During the musket wars Maori were driven away from areas by raiding Maori. They vacated many coastal areas as a result of these raids. So called Maori beliefs and spirituality have no place, IMHO, in New Zealand law or legal decisions. Godfrey
The judgement seems to have gone out of its way to establish Maori beliefs above the Common or people’s law. Malcolm
Imperative John
It is intolerable that such a decision as Justice Churchman has made should be able to be made by one person. Our democracy has FAILED. Gregor
Is the Pope Catholic??? Maddi
Yes! Most definitely! Ron
Absolutely- as fast as possible. Many non maori have homes and properties THEY have developed along our foreshore. ONE THING NEEDING SERIOUS CONSIDERATION AND IS BEING CONTINUALLY IGNORED –maorI are NOT THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HERE.. We all know Mori Mori, some Greek and other european peple were living here when the first maori canoe landed. It is FACT and nothing can change this. Stop this land grab and bring true justice to New Zealand’s people — equality is being ignored. We are part of the British Commonwealth of Nations – acknowledged and protected by The Crown. This new ruling is unjust, illegal and wrong. CMT
Maori were not the first people in NZ and therefore have no more rights than the rest of the citizens. Doreen
This ruling MUST be appealed or this country is doomed. Janet
we have to get rid of all these white maori a holes allan
Do the Whanau of the people depicted on the walls of the caves in the Waipoua Forest caves get to share in these spoils of Maori heritage lotto. Racist comments….. no, being Maori i think precludes me from that. Wiremu
This judgement needs to be appealed. Surely we have some lawyers that are prepared to take this case on for ALL New Zealander’s.. This judgement was a total disgrace. wendy
This week we have seen the excessively but predictable reaction by Maori to National placing a spotlight on the He Puapua document. If Maori are challenged it is called racism (institutional racism). This tactic is effective and people will do anything to avoid being branded. I would not be surprised if the High Court Ruling is trying to avoid being branded as racist, and by doing so has delivered another nail in the coffin to our democracy and equal rights for all. New Zealand democracy has been lost, no matter what party wins an election, under MMP it is most likely the party who can form a coalition will give up its principles to gain power, as an example – John Keys National Government is proof, he signed the Indigenous Peoples Treaty and repelled the Foreshore and Seabed Act to gain power by forming a coalition with the Maori Party. If he had not done so, then this High Court decision what not have happened. Fred
most stupid & racist decision for many years the crown should own all for the benefit of all Edward
Totally disgusted by this. The only ts the Maoris brought with them were kumara. The water is provided for everyone. Peter
Jacinda Ardern mentioned in part of her reply to Judith Collins we are living in the 21st century, this with regard to Moari sovereigty. Hello the 21st century should be enhancing all being equal and as one. Owen
churchman is behaving the same way the govt is .( no consultation) Stanley
Soon we won’t even have voting rights in this country! Carol
If Churchman has 1/2 a brain in his head how can he still work out that Maori ‘myths and legends’ have any relevants in this world of multiculturalism. Ced
if this was any other country, you might think that he has been paid off for his ruling. bill
… a massive blow to Democracy. The Government has just passed the Local Electoral Amendment Act 2021 Bill under urgency, ramming it through a truncated select committee process and doing so the Government nullified several citizen-initiated petitions that had gained enough support to force a binding poll on Maori wards in their area. So folks, on a very local level Treaty-Based Governance is already in action !!! The Death of Democracy in NEW ZEALAND is underway. Christopher
Inch by inch !! Graham
Yet another decision against the preferences of the majority of New Zealanders. While this situation is bad enough, I am greatly concerned at the propaganda coming through states owned media (National Radio and Tv) ) 1) through the ever increasing use of Maori when introducing new topics, or using their names, etc., and not using New Zealand but rather aotearoa. Maori wanted their own radio so the state provided it, then they wanted their own TV so the state provided that. It would be far better to have greater emphasis on economic education in the schools rather than forcing 85% of the population to use a language not used in any other country in the world. Adrian
Absolutely yes! Graeme
Every day, New Zealand is becoming the new South Africa. We rejected Apartheid in 1981, why would anyone advocate for it’s return in 2021! Sheila
In tikanga rather than there being an emphasis on exclusive individual or collective title to any part of land, the focus was on the use of and relationship with resources of the land and sea including manaakitanga. Perhaps most importantly for this litigation the concept of exclusion was fundamentally inconsistent with the tikanga values of manaakitanga and whakapapa. This is essentialization . We might be Cathloc, Presbytarian (nominally) but it doesn’t mean we bieve it to a great degree. I was reading something somewhere where an anthropologist studied belief and where an African elder said the sun did this and that a youth observed that he had never seen him do it). Their claim is that their culture supplants human territorially. John
Maori ceded their rights to the Crown on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Glenn
As a lawyer once told me” never confuse the law with common sense” This ruling proves that statement is correct. Robert
Bloody Disgusting! They have been well looked after to date and getting more by the day! STOP NOW!!! Raewyn
All New Zealanders should have an opportunity to say yes or no. Ray
A complex issue but given the ongoing debate on the exact interpretation of our Treaty this matter should definitely not be decided by one High Court ruling. Due to the massive impact it will have on all New Zealanders and our future it requires extremely careful examination and any law change must be in the best interest of all New Zealanders. Thus Crown jurisdiction by elected Govt members must apply for the benefit of all. Ruth
Most certainly This decision has far reaching importance and is the decision of a single judge’s view Gary
if tribes feel ‘entitled’ to total coastline custody and ownership then surely they must be equally happy to pay dearly for ‘improvements and benefits’ as a consequence of colonisation.. Once again the law has shown itself to be an ass. Joanne
This is such a sad day for all of New Zealand! ABSOLUTELY THE APPEAL MUST GO AHEAD! Sylvia
New Zealand and its resources are for all New Zealanders. John
This is terrible! One person should not have responsibility for such a huge decision. Jim
The foreshore and seabed should be for all New Zealanders , after all it was here long before any humans were here. Gayle
We don’t need critical race theory enacted in NZ. This nonsense needs to be stamped out from where it is coming. The universities with our tax money. Rene
Otherwise common law has no meaning. Vic
Spiritual and cultural values are not evidence in the case of Maori. Creation can show archeological, historical, written and recorded evidence, surely the Judge in question is on slippery legal ground. Maurice
Nothing surprises me, she use to work for Tony Blair. Raewyn
The seabed and foreshore should be protected by the Crown for all of New Zealanders, not for a few, give them an inch and they will take a mile. David
as far as I am concerned we are all New Zealanders and everyone should be treated the same. I feel they are playing with fire and going down a very dangerous path. If the government want to cause unrest in NZ they are certainly going the right way about it. Wake up New Zealand. Ross
Absolutely, the whole of our coastline is for everybody, whether citizen, resident, tourist, or migrant worker to enjoy. If the Maoris took over would they make a charge to use the beach? Gwyneth
Absolutely not. The foreshores of NZ are for every New Zealander. Christine
Common law dictates that the foreshore, seabed and the air above are owned by the crown on behalf of all New Zealanders Bill
appears to be wrong in law. chris
Words fail me. Is there no sense of justice remaining in this country?? Roy
It’s plain wrong. IAN
Form a republic New Zealand for New Zealanders Graeme
is this judge in cloud cookoo land. john
I thought Judges were meant to be intelligent people, There will be blood and it is on his hands. colin
End this dangerous farce asap David
God yes. Weak woke…. Gillian
All references to race or religion needs to be taken out of all rulings and legislation We are ALL mixed ethnicities and should be equal Brenda
If this decision is not appealed, and won, then look out for maori claims for anything that takes their fancy – especially anything that may enable them to slap a charge “to cross their land ” – or maybe make a claim on the land your house or whatever is on which can only be appeased by an appropriate kohs. Maurice
NZ Govt was not elected to cede or delegate sovereignty, neither was the judiciary given rights under British and then NZ law to elevate maori tikanga to a position of legal primacy. Tim
The NZ foreshore ownership should not be restricted to a race as this is racist, it should be owned by all New Zealand citizens regardless of ethnicity. Steve
The judiciary are running scared under Maori radical activist intimidation which is the same for individual territory council members where all votes subject to intimidation should be by way of secret ballots. Garry
An appalling decision. The Judiciary are seemingly departing further and further from established legal precedent set by earlier decisions. Inch by inch, step by incremental step is how others eventually take control. Our Democracy is their strength. Watch your back. Brian
Wrong, wrong, wrong Jeff
Hell YES, stop this madness NOW Bryan
I would contribute money for this. Tim
If not overturned the floodgates will be fully opened for all sorts of mischieves claims by maori John
Absolute stupidity to allow it to go into law. Adrian
A ridiculous decision causing the ultimate in separatism Trevor
This new ground. It needs to be fully argued before our higher courts. Mumbo Jumbo should have no place. Trevor
One law for all ie equality , also quality of numerical Q is demeaning at best and could be described in colourful terms not appropriate for this column Simon
Absolutely, this country is witnessing a racist state being created by ardern and her supporting followers. The maori,s will continue to exploit their claims to privileges that only they are entitled to. Their claims to ownership of water and coastal regions are only the beginning, they will continue this as long as this Govt is in power. Next they will claim the air we breath belongs to them and all natural wildlife. The people who built this nation are being betrayed by the politicians elected to run the country as a democracy. The majority of the population are fully aware of what the maoris intentions are. They need to be VERY CLEARLY REMINDED that they are a minor portion of the country’s population and DO NOT have special privileges because of their race. Wake up miss ardern !!! clearly reminded that we are all citizens of this country with equal David
This finding is idiotic and in the long term dangerous and divisive. It must be appealed and overturned. Brian
Who paid him or threatened him? Paloma
We are suppose to live and work as one people to the benefit of the whole country. This ruling is only going to create greater racial division Wendy
NZ’s foreshore and seabed should in accordance with current law remain totally under state control. The Treaty of Waitangi was never intended and should not be construed as permitting that to chamge. Peter
Most definitely. Miss Ardern stated that all New Zealanders were one, where did that disappear too. Pauline
All of New Zealand not currently owned privately, should be accessible by all ethnicities, not just one that happened stumble upon New Zealand first. Barrington
I can hardly believe this ruling. It is tantamount to handing our country to Maori interests, on a plate. Gill
Most certainly it needs to be otherwise we Pakeha will be foreigners in the only homeland we know Elsa
It must certainly be appealed. The Judge should be removed from office with a decision like that. The Crown alone owns the seabed and foreshore and no one else. Frank
Insanity Gerald
I clicked yes because there is no neutral button.I’m unsure about all this because here in Southland The Ngai Tahu control a huge amount of coastal property, including Invercargills’ famous Oreti Beach where there are great Toheroa beds. The local Tribe have never stopped anybody going fishing or gathering seafood so long as the law is obeyed which they stand behind. If you are having a wedding or a celebration of some kind, locals are welcome to go up to the local Marae and obtain a permit for gathering Toheroa according to the number at the celebration. You are carefully vetted though. So, anyone reading this, don’t think you can pop down to Invercargill and make up an excuse to obtain Toheroa — you will be cvaught. No local persons of good repute have had any problems with the local Iwi. So I guess it’s who is running the individual local show that will make the difference. It works here in Southland, but, the structure is also in place for it not to work. Our Toheroa beds have survived where others further north have not. Many years ago, a helicopter landed on a Southland mussel bed and some guys filled 6 sacks of mussles, all for a Christmas break-up party. Was this fair? Fortunately Fisheries inspectors anticipated this and were waiting for them. Checks and balances are needed. Ray
An absolute travesty of justice what is the judge thinking, driving another wedge between us all,this race based thinking has to stop. Beaches,water etc belongs to us all.. Gaz
No one owns the foreshore – its for everyone. What is happening to this country Kerin
Will divide the country. John
This is just another wedge in the downfall of our country as we know it. ROSS
If Maori are to be granted such power and control then the question needs to be asked- Who is Maori. does 1/32 suffice ie those who had a Maori ancestor 5 generations back and of their 64 ancestors, 57 are non Maori. So who qualifies as a Maori ? Peter
it must be appealed at all costs . sea bed & foresaw belong to everyone in NZ neil
We are already being charged to go on beaches Marahau and Maketu are ones I know of , this has got so out of hand but I don’t know what to do Karen
will be a disaster for the rest of NZers Colin
I wish I wasn’t struggling in a kainga ora state house & could donate as I feel VERY worried about iwi gaining control of our beaches ETC.This labour govt. is,nt a NZ govt. but a maori govt. who wants control over EVERYTHING & with jacinda they can succeed.I ONLY hope some-one can appeal this ruling as our children will NOT be able to swim ETC in OUR beaches. Cindy
The judge appears to be totally insane. Is he suggesting we embark on a civil war? Mike
A ridiculous ruling. Common sense overrides any spiritual mumbo jumbo. Clive
we must not allow this to proceed. Gary
New Zealand is fast becoming a racist country. The beaches around NZ are for all citizens of the country. If this crazy law becomes reality then we will paying the racist greedy Iwis absorbent amounts of money just to go fishing or taking the kids swimming Etc. Wayne
It sets a dangerous precedent. Gordon
The ruling must be appealed, as the foreshore and sea bed belong to the country, and is for the benefit of all New Zealanders. john
Most definitely. Kevin
Unbelievable and inconceivable Maureen
This ruling is just a judge looking to make a name for himself in history. Peter
This judgement ignores common law and a fundamental principle of the Act governing the decision. The claimants did NOT have unrestricted access to this section of the foreshore. This is just another plank in Ardern’s socialist agenda to introduce separatism and attack the democracy that my ancestors fought for in two world wars. Kerry
Absolutely – the sooner the better. The longer this farce continues the worse it will get. Soon we will be paying rates to umpteen tribal groups along with council and regional rates Fiona
Incredibly Divisive John
What can I say? Brian
One has to wonder at the timing of this decision considering the in your face government focus on everything Maori. For a judge to take the beliefs of a race that existed over 200 years previously and allow that to overrule the laws of the country that exist in the 21st century is akin to saying that each tribe had the ownership of any and all parts of the country and history tells us that that was far from fact. Another step towards Agenda 2030 has just been endorsed by law. Barry
This Judgement is an absolute disgrace and shows how even the Justice system is corrupted. we should most definitely Appeal the ruling . This may be our one chance to stop this nonsense. lets raise the funds and get started. Henry
Of course it must be appealed. Maori specifically gave up sovereignty in the Treaty of Waitangi and all attempts to regain control of the foreshore into the hands of part Maori rather than the whole of New Zealand must fail. Churchman is a fool. Robbie
We have seen too many court rulings denying the lawful rights of decent law abiding people. I’m sick and tired of being labeled “white privilege” at 65 years old I’ve had lots of life experiences that show, facts that are totally different to what we are accused of. Robin
The strongest possible appeal is needed both to exclude spiritual nonsense from our legal system and to protect equality and freedom in our multicultural society. Tim
Equal rights for all citizens William
NZ seems to be heading down the rabbit hole and becoming Wonderland where everything is rules by fantasy. It must be stopped or NZ will really become a third world country in a short space of time. Murrau
The concept of exclusive ownership was understood with the passing of the Act Donald
It’s simply that or Civil War so we can finish what the British started. Enough MOARI RACISM. How about “youse fullas” pay some reparation for eating the Mori Ori as a starting point? Mark
another step back for NZ radical – not common sense Douglas
The man has got to come from the same cuckoo land as Mahuta, Ardern and the Waitangi Tribunal. Lets have some common sense creep into the system somehow. The whole place is going nuts. Terry
It’s absolutely unbelievable, soon Maoris will be running NZ completely Graeme
Yes, BUT who in this country will do so. The High Court. ??? The political opposition??? The Law???? All of the above have been deeply infiltrated by this radical maoriism that all I can see is : this ship has sailed long ago. Generations of white do gooders have set a process in motion whose dire consequences are to be suffered by all except the tribal leaders. Michael
The start of the thin end of the wedge. Michael
Absolutely! Everything this government is doing is in direct contrast to what the Articles of the Treaty actually said. And this madwoman still declares we are all ONE people. Hogwash and lies. Indoctrination and misinformation. She is purposefully dividing our nation based on race, setting us one against the other. Why? So she can claim justification for more socialistic measures, gun seizures, forced vaccines. She wants TOTAL control. She and her party are a huge threat to our democracy. We need to get them OUT of power, now, before it’s too late. Speak up, People. Joyce
Absolutely, we’ve got to stop living in the past. Mark
Yes but I don’t hold out much hope Zimbabwe here we come And we’ll all be off to Aussie Elaine
Or land and seashore Richard
Animism, spirituality, and fabricated jumbo jumbo have no place in the management of a secular country Max
Can’t believe that a man could rule such a crazy outcome based on racism Sidwell
Ridiculous Maori lobbyists attempting to formulate a new form of governance will eventually fail. Norman
This insidious creep of Maori dominance is akin to the concept of separate development, a term with which we as ex South Africans are all too familiar. Not good! Ken
This judgement holds Maori Law above the existing law of the land, that encompasses all NZ citizens. It places the majority of non-Maori at a disadvantage. Where is the balance that the law is supposed to uphold. Tony
coastline and territorial sea should not be owned by anyone. there is no basis to rule otherwise bryan
The whole issue is getting out of hand and each Court Session costs money which would be better spent helping the needy and damaged children in this country Laurel
it is very hard to fathom how any one in our Judicial System could come to the conclusion this Judge has done. Hope like hell common sense prevails when this is decision is appealed . Gwenda
The rights of New Zealanders are being eroded . The rights of Maori are being promoted. Apartheid by the allegedly suppressed. Peter
I believe in a modern democracy that only the state should own the foreshore & seabed, it should not be in private hands Diana
Absolutely!! Otherwise where does it all end. We can all dream up fairy stories around connection to the land. I am born in this country from immigrants, so I am indigenous – does this mean I get to participate or not, or is it purely race based? Reminds me of apartheid….. T
This whole debacle is the result of wokism, first on the part of the activist Chief Justice, Sian Elias and secondly by a ignorant PM, Sjohnkey. In the likely absence of an appeal by the Crown and the resolution following precedent of most of the other pending claims in favour of the applicants, a revolution will be virtually inevitable! Alan
Most definitely! If this i allowed to stand then heaven help NZ !. There is no place in NZ Law, based on fact and well proven theory, for the inclusion of Maori myths. You max as well try and mix oil and water, which is impossible, All you would be left with is a downright mess, and that is where this decision of Churchman J is leading us. Robyn
Absolutely Sam
Yes, the decision of Justice Churchman needs to be appealed. Tribalism, Tikanga, the rule of law and private property rights cannot co-exist. 1Law4all. Without private property rights, nothing is safe and no other rights are possible. New Zealand, like America, is going through a socialist revolution with Commufascist China becoming more and more aggressively in control while subversively spreading its evil ideology. We the people, have a serious decision to make sooner than later – to die on our feet fighting for what is right or live on our knees in total submission. Don
This country is being split in 2 . As a beach user for recreational purposes , I hate to think what changes Tribal jurisdiction will bring . Peter
The taniwha is not real. The Tikanga is not real either. They are cultural domination concepts designed to take us back into the dark ages. Mark
Speechless and beachless Peter
We are going to become landlocked in our own country to appease radical part maoris Brian
Sadly Churchman has been blinded by a love of fantasy – a fair law for all is not the stuff of dreams. Mark
It is appalling what is happening in our country with 15% of the population making untenable and never ending demands. Lynne
Too airy fairy pie in the sky stuff and I think it would be the same for the ancient Maoris who lived simply & kept their slaves for meat. Just ignore this old fossil of a Judge and go back to the simple arrangement we had in the past. Eric
The people need to stop this in its tracks Kevin
We must fight and fight for this to be appealed this will cause a war Mike
Goodness me. So this is where the law now is heading into the realm of tribal fancy. Written in legal english and interpreted into fanciful tribal folklaw. It must be appealed RIchard
Definitely. Tikanga must not be allowed to over ride Common Law. Tony
Absolutely this decision must be appealed! If we are to maintain one law for all and remain one people then that is what the law must be – colour blind in every way,. Rod
Hell yes. I’m sick of seeing maoris mumbo jumbo thinking getting preference over proper laws. The coast belongs to all of New Zealand, the same as fresh water etc etc. That Judge has his head stuck up his ahold. We must band together to stop this insidious takeover by greedy elitist maori. Peter
This judge should be given a job as far overseas as possible. Gerard
The foreshore and seabed belong to everybody not any one section of the community. What happened to the Queen’s chain? Elaine
And it is getting time that judges are going to use their brains for a change. We, from the tribe Te Pakeha, are already punished enough by ex canibals and money wasters. Why would WE have to pay for objections and they get it all paid out of OUR pockets. I am really sick of this and would like to know where I could go with all this crap going on. Peter in Napier Peter
No one judge should ever be given authority to do this it should be at least 5 or more Sue
Very dangerous and undemocratic precedent Mark
Too Damned right. If we continue with such madness this country will be a third world country with great internal fighting. It has to stop and soon. Graeme
One country one people Patrick
Alarming developments. David
Please appeal. Just made a small donation in the hope. Thanks helen
This is a disaster.How can a stone age culture’s ‘beliefs’ take precedent over a legal system that has been developed and fine tuned over millenia. This ruling must be overturned. This judge has lost the plot Robert
Where is this nonsense leading us to? Tony
Property rights such as the seabed and foreshore should continue to be held in trust by the government for the use and enjoyment of all New Zealanders Trevor
The people who subscribe to NZCPR are worried about our future & give a dam. The problem is that the majority of N..Zers if there are any left don’t know or even give a dam as to what is happening here. The problem is that MSM propagates suck up to Cindy & everything Maori garbage that is making people afraid of speaking out,but then again you mention politics to Joe average & they run a mile. Sheeeeple ) the country is full of them. Allen
Unbelievable thomas
Such a ridiculous ruling. Derek
It is not true that Maori were the first inhabitants of NZ. Previous races were gobbled up. Where is their voice in this? Robert
There has been far too much re-interpretation of the original Treaty Documents; applying todays interpretations of ‘what may have been, had the Treaty been signed today’. To many specious claims supported by activist JUDGES, starting from Elias Bob
The foreshore and seabed must stay in public ownership with fair and equal access by everybody. Building and mining on both should be prohibited as it restricts access to areas It would be interesting to know how many other countries have succeeded in giving exclusive foreshore and seabed rights to certain sections of their populations. . Dennis
YES YES YES. This should be the leading story on all the TV channels. Rod
Is Judge Churchman a Maori by any chance or just pretending to be one???? Erin
Apartheid by nature, Apartheid by name….the end of Apartheid can be observed, and its outcomes measured. Lionel
How on earth does such a profoundly foolish man as Churchman come to be a judge? Ron
Plus he needs his head read! Juliet
it could be argued that handing the coastline to tribal authorities is a violation of NZ’s national sovereignty. Barend
I was conceived and born in NZ so do I not have equal rights in NZ? Mike
The Sea and coastline must belong to everyone in New Zealand. Maori no longer exist as a race and Part Maori c must accept Common law and live as ONE People. Don
Liberal judges make me ashamed to say I am a New Zealander. Tom
My family has moved to Aust i will sell the farm and go to like 5100 people last month Brian
New Zealand foreshore and seabed should be for all New Zealanders, administered by a democratically elected government with no ethnic divisions or priorities. Malcolm
We are one people, one country who should not support racial separatism. Carol
Beaches and waterways are everyone’s right up north is bad enough they present themselves as radicals who threaten safety of your car if you don’t pay and spat on as your not welcome at matouri bay no one here in Nz has any more right than the next. For how many years do you keep trying to right wrong doings you can’t move forward with the future all this is just causing more division in this country than ever. Completely insane this has even happened. Rachel
No to apartheid in any form Richard
It’s appalling janet
Appeal is necessary but the actual decision falls easily into what appears to be jacinda’s apartheid like plans. The Comrade speech she made a few years back also tended to support her current goals. Thus, given the judge should not have found as he did, one has to ask what was used to persuade him to make the judgement? Was he bribed? If so, who by? Alastair
For the sake of law an some semblance of order for all New Zealand Peter
As we still have the wright to free speech Justice Churchman is a clown as Maori are not the indigenous people of New Zealand. When in heavens name will we wake up to this fact and just tell those greedy PART Maori where to go before it is to late. Shut them down Tom
I am lost for words!, Gail
I 100% support apealling Susan
The coastline should stay in crown control which represents ALL New Zealanders so as ALL New Zealand residents have access to enjoy Noel
Oh most certainly. The big grab for all things to be owned, run by maori interests ,is now well underway. Darryl
certainly ron
Stop this insanity now. Patrick
The Crown should maintain control for all New Zealanders Equal access for all. John
Who the hell is he anyway presuming to be the spokesman for all citizens. What are the credentials of these allowing them to assume they know all opinions. Colin
All New Zealanders own the foreshore etc-not Maori Bob
When will it end? Susan
Why is this country run for the benefit of only 13% of the total population…??by the present sycophantic regime ! Henry
Separitism here we come, (we need another Springbok tour) This will wreck our tourism sector fishing and much more Les
the maoris could all swim in the sea all the time.this would be a fantastic tourist attraction owen
For the reasons outlined by judge Anthony Willy Marilyn
Thin end of the wedge. Definitely a call to overturn and get the appeal under way Martyn
we could all pay rent to the maoris and save all the trouble owen
This will open the flood gates for all the claims. Lynn
off course norman
Appealed and thrown out, along with all the insane, Stone Age, mumbo jumbo that they use to get anything that they feel entitled to, through sheer rat cunning, driven by insatiable greed! Is this the legacy that we will pass on to succeeding generations? Scott
Racist Greg
despite the un ruling maori arent indigenous and their own folk lore tells them this john
WHERE IS THE GUARANTEE THAT 15 5 of the population will share freely with 85% of New Zealanders by birth or adoption who are completely excluded from this conversation?? Brian
This is just creating more division Colin
most definitely, this ruling is plain stupid gerard
We need a Government with some backbone to stand up against all this Maori Sovereignty bulls*** david
Australia is looking better everyday and many NZers are like minded.Under this government NZ is toast. Dell
Maori lore is not New Zealand law. To accept this ruling would take us back to pre civilisation times when every village had its own gods/spirits/customs. Need to stay with a team of five million and british Roman law. Terry
What a can of worm that will open. Why has the previous foreshore and seabed legislation been overturned. Martin
It is complicated . However any judgment must surely have consideration to todays environment and the overall good for the country and ALL New Zealand’s citizens. The world is a very different place than existed in 1840. In balance, Maori have not faired to badly under European rule. If this is to be a precursor to other claims, then this country is for some seriously turbulent times for future generations. chris
The seemingly biased Decision by this Judge and using Maori wording that very few New Zealanders understand to support his Ruling and with it’s future implications, must be a Appealed. This Ruling would also appear to be a stepping Stone for He Puapua (Maori Co-Governance ). Geoff
Is he a Maori judge. It makes me wonder if he was paid to make that decision. Andrew
This is apartheid charlotte
According to our esteemed leader “we are one” so how come 15% can get so much without public consultation. Morrin
Time the Maori madness was stopped. Members of this Govt wont be in power when the S–t hits the Fan. Time to explain to them that they will be held accountable in a Court of Law. For Acts against the interests of the whole Country. Frank
Anything other than a overturn of this ruling will be disasterous for all of New Zealand for the conceivable future. Carl
Please! I live in the BOP, I am not interested in fishing but very interested in democracy. If fishing rights end up legally belonging to one culture, that is not democracy is it. Pamela
We have had enough of these racist decisions. And it IS RACIST. It must be appealed. Catherine
This is an appalling decision that makes a mockery of the intent of the law enacted by the Key government. Allan
The path this country is taking is terrifying Faye
There may be worse to come. We may soon have a constitution based on the “Principles and Partnership” of the Treaty of Waitangi. What are the Principles, and how can you have a Partnership when we are one people? All are equal, though some are more equal than the rest! Kevan
This news is extremely concerning. And I believe totally wrong. Unbelievable to look to Canada, the government there is very left wing. We must appeal this. Debbie
Clearly, the Treaty of Waitangi has no relevance at all in modern New Zealand. It should be scrapped. It is now time for all New Zealanders to agree what is reasonable for the state to negotiate, if anything, with those who identify as Maori, Peter
Judges should rule on the law and not create it John
Once again individual left leaning jurists being allowed to decide issues which rightly should be decided by the people. lindsay
The country is being ruled by lunatics Robert
Spiritual Beliefs have no place in common Law and our laws must be common to all and not distorted to fit the wishes of one group. This is wrong on so many levels and must be appealed and overturned. The risk is also a backlash, which will destroy any goodwill. Coastline and sea should be owned by all and protected by the Crown for all. Bill
He’s nuts Phil
Essential that an appeal be lodged and pursued vigorously Ray
A few short weeks ago this Judge i guess like many other NEW ZEALANDERS REMEMBERED WHAT THEIR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN did to make this country what it is today- a democratic country of one people from many ethinicity’s. This ruling goes against what those people stood for. Yes i can say this – i am a veteran and know what my family and uncles who were veterans stood for — not for a racially divided system of governance. WARWICK WARWICK
It appears that the Judges decision is inconsistent with common law in force today John
Definitely Eileen
This is a terrible situation allowing Maori tribes to control our beaches &coastline IIan
This is a backward step for this Country. Bob
The ramifications of this ruling to the country as a whole are horrendous, it is frightening how short sighted rulings and policies such as this are being pushed through without the knowledge of the majority of NZrs. They don’t know or understand it until its too late . Carol
It was bound to happen. Mark
This has gone too far already and must be appealed. This Government is hell bent on creating a separatist apartheid system in this country of ours and it must stop. Maori are no9 more indigenous than a fly on the moon and there is NO partnership and never was It’s a modern construct to suit the above narrative. It’s a power grab pure and simple. We are headed for civil war Carolyn
APARTHEID NZ is declining fast into a polarised society. Unfortunately the logical conclusion increasingly looks like it will end in violence. Geoff
I cant believe the apathy of the public who will be disenfranchised. Joan
Definitely Terry
“20th Century New Zealand is for all “New Zealanders not a racial group. We live in the here and now, not the past Alan
I have no problem with customary fishing rights for those claiming to be Maori to fish as far out to sea as they can paddle in a dug out canoe using flax fibre fishing lines and traditional bone lures and hooks. In shore netting only with hand made flax fishing nets. Max
Democracy is dying in this country .How to kill a country in just one term, Jacinda is doing so well,NOT Francis
PC nonsense!! I foresee racial warfare?! David
This is as crazy as it gets and is supported by that bloody socialist govt of cindys she will support anything that will enable her to take control of NZ STAND UP NZ BEFORE ITS TOO LATE eric
The decision needs to be appealed and rescinded. Richard
What a dangerous decision! This must be appealed and I am happy to contribute to legal fees Bev
This would be the ruination of NZ as we know it . I’m an oldie (75) I fear for all the youngsters who will face this mess for their lifetime, it’s been said before and I believe it to be true ….. NZ Judges have a lot to answer for. I Tony
NZ is in very deep trouble if this whole tribal ownership crap goes ahead. Get rid of Churchman graeme
Without a doubt David
like water some things belong to everyone Bruce
Madness to even consider such a ruling and revert New Zealand back to Tribal rule and made up rules Stu
No point. Sheena
The only future for NZ is as a country of one people..equal rights and opportunities Michael
It is critical that this is appealed Gary
This is simply outrageous and unacceptable. No different than giving Maori ( most with less than 50% Maori genes) preferential access over all other NZers Hylton
The whole thing needs to be thrown out. New Zealand is not Rhodesia. Racial separatism has no place in a modern forward looking society. It is way past time to end all race based privilege, starting by abolishing the Waitangi Tribunal, the Maori Land Court, and the Maori seats in parliament. Next we must outlaw the implementation of race based seats on local councils. We are all New Zealanders, whatever our ancestry. We need one electoral roll for all citizens, note citizens not residents, that we may all take an equal part in electing our members of parliament and local councilors. Igor
We are one seems to have gone out of the window under the apartheid focused government we have in power also Tom
NZ coastline and water, salt and fresh should be for all New Zealanders . Peter
This is just plain crazy. there will be bloodshed. rod
No to apartheid bud
Furthermore, there should not be funding from the public purse for tribal groups to propose or defend their applications/supplications. gary
Maori say they do not have the same understanding of sovereignty as pakeha but then expect to have that same “sovereignty” afforded to them . You cannot have it both ways. Alan
The decision of Justice Churchman has to be appealed – this is undemocratic and NZ’s contemporary population must be made aware of the awful cost to our freedom if our foreshore comes under tribal juristdiction Bruce
Absolutely!!! Joe
This ruling is incredibly racist Owen
What the hell is happening to this country?? Being held to ransom by 2.5% of 15% of the population!! The courts are a joke!!! Ron
iN A WORD YES sheryl
Absolutely and all the way to the Privy Council if necessary ]I think that is not possible now ??} David
A judgment that calls into question the logical and objective ability of the judge Bryan
The foreshore and seabed belong to the whole nation not a select few. Similarly the conservation estate. Kerry
A poor attempt at Judge made law. Agree whole heartedly with Willy George
Most definitely! David
Racial favouritism paid for by someone else JohnT
And quickly! Brian
Surely spiritual considerations have no place in a modern society? Roger
I believe any order just based on the “Treaty” to be invalid , document drawn 100 years ago and no longer relevant. As tribal wars go no long term ownership to any area no claim can be valid. Grace
We are ONE people and should all be treated the same as per The Treaty of Waitangi (English version) Sheila
I do. While he might not agree with the law, it is not his place to set it aside. The man is a dangerous ideologue. Geoffrey
Does this judge lack foresight or is just evil? This is treasonous. Trevor
Obviously this judge has used his own personal bias, or has been directed by those who are pushing the secret sovereignty agenda, in his consideration of this ruling. This is a shocking state of affairs and should be appealed vigorously. Chris
Absolutely YES Richard
There is now a common thread of this government giving away land and assets. There is more division in this country now than I have ever seen before Barry
Where is the “rowing in the same whaka” in all of this? and why just one judge for such important judgements? Ted
my God yes Graeme
Appalling! So much freshly-minted mumbo-jumbo as well Mike
I believe that all matters relating to the law must be based on law and legal interpreations. I do not believe that religious, spiritual or cultural beliefs should interfere with the interpretation of laws. Sue
Tikitanga is what it means to the person refering to it. That can not provide certainty required for court rulings. tony
Seabed and foreshore belongs to ALL new Zealanders. Customary right can still be recognised Phil
I am in despair for the future of this wonderful country. We’re sliding backwards to days of tribal warfare, cannibalism and slavery. Intelligent people will leave by the thousands and this country will be just a Third World mess. Jenny
Absolutely! This is a dreadful ruling and further demeans the majority of the citizens of this country. Surely we can fund this? Roger
Does not rationality, reason and logic have any bearing on this matter? Churchman appears to believe not. He places mysticism, tribalism and “folk lore” invented on the spot to suit Maori demands above plain common law and common sense. Ron
This most definitely should be appealed. I’m shocked that one of our Judges would make such a ruling. Surely he is not fit to be a Judge. This is an utter disaster for our once lovely country. Helen
Absolutely, and vigorously, it must be appealed. Graeme
Definitely and soon! Walnetta
This is just the same sort of nonsense as dragons and taniwha. Considering that the original natives had no concept of ownership, about 600 words that were grunted for communication, along with a pre-stoneage cannibal “society” and a life expectancy of about twenty something years, you would think that there would be some appreciation for colonisation. Looks like this will contribute to this country going to hell in a handcart, but it must be appealed and objected to by all us “racists”. That’s what happens isn’t it when you oppose the pathetic “woke” tax payer funded corruption!!! Neil
Im of maori descent, and believe that this is totally wrong. Im a kiwi. Wayne
It is very dangerous and separatist Janie
Ridiculous! Michael
This country will regret this stupidity Paul
Of course! Otherwise ‘exclusive’ will become a ‘maori only’ foreshore unless fees are paid. Mark
Absolutely – otherwise we will have no public coastline left now that the ball has started rolling – how could that piece of coastline have been in ‘exclusive’ use during the required time ???? russell
Ownership of the sea bed should be freely granted to all those who can occupy it continuously for a full day. Deirdre
Enough of this racism in New Zealand, we are all equal citizens under the Crown. Peter
Common law and Maori tikanga are poles apart. Here we go again, pitting those with some Maori ancestry against those whose ancestry is from anywhere else. The less-than-15% of the population is being hijacked by the Maori “aristocracy” (those with highly-paid jobs in the iwi corporations) for their own purposes. “Iwi” = “I want it” Laurence
It is divisive, contrary to law and presumes that Maori were first settlers in NZ which they were not. Patepieriki were,, so were the Turuhue people from Egypt. Ian
As stated should remain with the crown Rita
Do these people that call themself a justice have any idea of what there decision has and will do to this country unless it’s overturned, bad enough that our toothy dictator want’s to hand DOC over to the same mob that have just got a part of the coast that should belong to ALL NEW ZEALANDER”S not to just a bunch of ancestor’s of people who MURDERED all of the indigenous people, so welcome to zimbarbie of the south pacific. Richard
This latest decision is part of a gradual appropriation of all the rights and benefits we (including Maori ) fought for in two world wars. It is promoted by a radical, vocal minority. This claim is merely another facet of a strategy in this country to create a Maori elitist movement. Isn’t it about time that all New Zealanders, who by accident have portion of Maori blood, embraced their European heritage as well and worked towards uniting all citizens as new Zealanders?? Pieter
No legal decision should be race-based or spiritual or myth based…. Cath
Like Former Judge Anthony Willy, I am deeply concerned about the judgment of Churchman J – and many aspects of his summation bring into question his legal ability. John
Most definitely Richard
The seabed and foreshore is for all NZers,,not a seperate group, Earle
A backwards step and a huge dent in our democracy this decision has to be appealed. Jack
This is an obvious miscarriage of basic rights for all New Zealanders. The clauses which state “exclusive and uninterrupted use since 1840” have been completely ignored by Justice Churchman. If this decision stands, all the other claims by Maori will use it as a precedent for their claims, therefore these claims will also be successful. Peter
Absolutely needs to be appealed! James
More mumbo jumbo! colin
Apartheid Terry
Yet another example of every New Zealand (other than Maori) being disenfranchised by morally corrupt Politicians and Judges.. the racism just goes on and on.. where will it end one might ask Rob
This is a very dangerous precedent Gary
For sure! Plus that judge needs to be removed from the position, and this is not justice, but a “politically correct” pandering to the applicants! Disgraceful, and potentially seriously damaging to race relations in our country! Hugh
Maori are not indigenous, they came in their canoes as stated in their own history therefore they are immigrants like all others. We should all be NZ’s first and foremost and work together as a nation not as exclusive rights tina
Foreshore & Seabed is owned by all New Zealanders not one race who where most certainly not the first people to have populated NZ, it must be repelled & all other race based notions nigel
APPEAL MOST DEFINITELY When appeal to the Court of Citizen Voters. Richard
We are all New Zealanders and it belongs to everyone. This is racist action. This racism must stop now Nigel
By all means. How does one get to be put in places of Authority eg: High Court, and deliver such nonsense. What’s happening to our country? Don
This ruling is the beginning of a split society. the real problem is that far from being related to the original Maori occupiers, most of those considering themselves Maori are in fact more European by percentage than that. The actual point is “Who among us are Maori” or, are most more European NZ. Darrell
I can’t believe what is happening to our country, it’s like a bad dream.. Peter
I doubt the resources the oceans holds will be managed well. Will non Maori be required to pay to use and what of water. I hold that these resources are owned by all NZers through the Crown and not a single group. I have a feeling we are heading for an Israeli/Palestinian situation!!! Brian
Absolutely, otherwise the judges application of the law is ludicrous. William
Nobody owns the land, air, water. Maori cannot be allowed to control any of the above Kevin
The foreshore and seabed belongs to all New Zealanders. Diana
Absolutely! David
NZ for all not 15% of the total population…disgusted !!! mark
Absolutely. In fact all our foreshore and seabed should revert from Public Domain back to the original Crown Ownership. Tony
Definitely Michael
Foreshore & Seabed is for Every body, not just for one segment of society. Roy
Is there nothing this crooked Gobblement cannot engineer? Kevin
Churchman? What a tosser… Richard
The coastline should be available to all, no one group or section of society should have ownership Linda
Justice Churchman seems to allude to the fact when describing Maori sovereignty that all tribes were united as a Nation when it is well documented they weren’t. He gives them an appearance they behaved as a civilised structured cohesive National entity. He talks of sky father and land mother really. Maori were capable of inshore fishing with hooks not with modern fishing techniques introduced by European. How handy it is to live in the past but ise the future ideals to set parameters. One country for New Zealanders not divided by race to suit agendas. A disgraceful decision. Stephen
I suspect (hope) Justice Churchman made his judgement in the expectation it would go to Appeal. As it is the first of many a test case is required/desirable. Terry
Absolutely needs appeal. Maori are as much immigrants as the rest of New Zealander’s and because they may have been here first doesn’t give them the right to these issues. Alan
the High court ruling is a disaster for everyday New Zealanders. What next; armed combat on the beach, rivers and swamp landz David
Should only be under control of crown Don
Absolutely Graeme
Ridiculous decision. Should be owned by no one and held by the Crown for the good of all. Graham
The sooner the better for all our sakes. chris
one law for all neal
Wake up New Zealanders.. Donald
So sad our lovely country is being divided up to those who have no right to all these things we are being ruled by a group of radical part Maori Russell
NZ Common Law CANNOT be overridden and controlled by the religion, supersticion & mysticism of Tikanga Maori Brian
If the appeals fail, I see the only recourse left would be for New Zealanders to seek a break from the Crown and establish OUR country as an Independent Republic. This should then cancel out, the Treaty of Waitangi, as the Crown would no longer be involved as head of state and these claims under it become void. We are supposed to be one people dammit!! Vic
Most certainly. John
Absolutely if we are to retain coastal access for the future this needs to be sorted out now. Lawrie
The foreshore is for ALL new zealanders not to be controlled by a minority group peter
If people think the collapses of white civilisation in Rhodesia and South Africa couldn’t happen here, they need to think again. We are seeing a similar blueprint being enacted in NZ via the transfer of legislated power to historically hostile tribal groups, thus artificially giving them the force of the law to impose archaic nonsense on a modern population via the ‘jackboot’. We are seeing increasingly blatant assaults on the law. Do people think a forcibly imposed tribal governance would be benevolent? We are in major trouble with this Labour government and its Green and Maori Party collaborators, and good people need to wake up. Because we have been accustomed to the ‘decent society’, and regard it as inconceivable that totalitarianism could happen here, the sheep don’t even recognise we have already been drafted into the pen. The gate is not yet fully closed. Susan
Justice Churchman needs his bloody head read. This is a total setup. He was appointed to the high court in 2017 under the present corrupt Labour government, and has appeared in the Maori Land court. He has no place to be giving everything to Maori that they demand is setting up the total destruction of NEW ZEALAND. Where else in the world would this be allowed to be happening … Des
The country is on a slippery slope which could be difficult to contain Ted
Amongst all the other factors, the acquisition of the foreshore and seabed will soon become exclusive ownership by Maori with the remaining 84% of our population having to pay to sit on the beach or recreationally fish. Martin
I thought we lived in a democracy? Warren
This is all beyond belief the crown has guardian ship over the foreshore and seabed it’s passed time the government stood up all together and said enough what gives a very small percent of people the right to tell the majority of people what to do communism?? Peter
Don’t let this go any further. Iain
This racist ruling must be overturned. Another step on the Labour-led push for Maori sovereignty, backed by the Greens and Maori Party. Gavin
Our leader has been poorly advised and is also pursuing different policies from what was promised. I dare to have snap election!!! Tim
For a law to be effective it must be certain, readily available to all, and obeyed by all. Jamie
Helen Clark was right, it should be in ownership of the crown. Bring on the next election. Ken
Sad to witness such corruption in New Zealand Mike
What a ‘nonsense’ ruling! Dick
Absolutely !! This is just the beginning and more appeals for control of almost everything will be heard and granted as per the He Puapua report. This country is heading down a very dangerous path and I am glad to be elderly and do not have to face the future. Who the hell is Justice Churchman anyway and why does he have any say in what is right for us a s nation — the general public will not accept this crap so lets hope democracy will prevail. That damn treaty is the problem as it’s meaning is being stretched to the point of treachery with no politician with the guts to stand up to these “B”——ds”. There was NO PARTNERSHIP — just sovereignty by Queen Victoria. Alan
I have great confidence in Muriel’s opinions and it appears to me to be the right answer. June
An unbelievable ruling from a supposedly Learned Judge Bruce
Absolutely!! Katie
This nonsense has to stop. Separatism is dividing this country. Chris
We are one people with a common law. Partitioning resources is not for the common good of all New Zealanders. As a relation of wiremu williams, i wonder what our forbears think about this? Raymond
The festering anger and division will destroy our country with this mythical rubbish. Do we have a rule of law or not? or is it only for 85% of the population. 15% can justify, reinvent, dream and imagine any nonsense that suit them. it is disturbing to see so called intelligent people believing this rot. Sam
Its a divisive and nonsensical decision in todays world. When will Maori stop asking for hand-outs, and when will our leaders stop rewarding them with largesse; its so undemocratic, and racist.. Peter
Without Doubt! Grahame
The foreshore should be public property vested in the crown Richard
Maori have had or are in the process of receiving settlements via that Waitangi tribunal. That should be the end of any further claims. The Labour Party are a disgrace to democracy and should probably change their name to the Maori Party. Steve
“There is non so blind as those who cannot see” This court ruling, along with Jacinda’s sneaky deal for 50:50 co-governance with Maori is diabolical WITHOUT prior consent of New Zealand ! Stuart
I am getting so angry with what is happening in this country. I fear for my children and grandchildren in a few years. If I could I would move from this country as it is CRAP!! Alas, I am too old now. This government is the worst in history. Chris
There is NO WAY Maori or any other group should have control over NZ’s foreshore and seabed, Never!!! Bradley
This ruling tries to replace and impose over modern common law, stone age “values”, globally, long consigned to ancient history. No place in today’s world. Ritchie
Woke judges!! Where are we heading? john
Of course it must be appealed. The alternative opens the door to chaos and conflict. The judges decision is insane! Martin
I don’t want to live in the 1800s. Pavel
Thank God we left NZ 45 years ago. I’m lost for words Noelene
Absolutely. John
The judge has clearly over-ruled NZ Common Law with Maori tikanga. As a result, a precedent has now been set where 85% of the population are now second class citizens and have less legal rights than Maori. That is ridiculous, and it shows how rotten the whole NZ public and legal sphere has become when it aspires to favour one race above all others. I think we’re off down the slippery slope of separatism and it’s getting steeper by the day. Derek
It’s ouright racism. The crown should retain ownership of all coastal foreshore and waters to the protection and use of all peoples of New Zealand. Bruce
If the general public of NZ lose access to beaches etc NZ will not be a country pleasant to live in. pamela
Maori are pushing to get their way on every front. Their victim approach makes me sick but seems to be working with the woke in this country. We must push back or we will soon become a nation like Zimbabwe. Rob
Against all of the Treaty and the money been given to Maori over the past thirty years. They cannot have it both ways. Kenneth
For sure otherwise we are being conned by quasi legal inventions . Collin
We have ended up in a situation that anyone with a brain could have foreseen and did foresee) twenty years ago. It’s too late now. But appeal it anyway. We have brought this upon ourselves. All that is necessary for the conquest of evil is for good men to do nothing. We did nothing . . . Ron
Absolutely. Every inch accorded Maori is followed by a claim for a kilometre Bob
Surely it can’t be allowed for tribal activists to succeed in overthrowing the legitimate laws? Graham
Definitely! Calvyn
It must be overturned Ray
This thin end of the wedge could be the death knell of what little racial harmony is left in NZ Kathryn
It’s simply that or Civil War so we can finish what the British started. Enough MOARI RACISM. How about “youse fullas” pay some reparation for eating the Mori Ori as a starting point? Mark
Without a doubt, as it will affect the freedom of movement of all Kiwis. What will come next ? Access fees payable to Maori Tribes ?? No, free access to all Kiwis !! Pierre
an outrageous decision tim
The whole scenario is disgusting. Seabed and foreshore belong to the Crown i.e. the people – all of us. Michele
Terrible decision! Norm
these maori immigrants have no rights that the rest of don’t have, they can get stuffed. Norm
If we don’t stop this separatist movement now NZ won’t be fit to live in for non Mowrie Jock
Absolutely not. Goodbye democracy in my beloved country Sarah
Democracy in NZ is under siege by this labour government – its a tragedy we are going through and we have another 2 years of it to go under ‘urgency’ and we have no voice int it!! Frightening and can it be overturned once in place?? tony
This is such a disaster for New Zealand. The decision should be appealed and the Judge should be sacked!  Harry
What an appalling state of affairs. We are meant to be able to trust the law, yet here is the law being distorted away from what Parliament intended. The judgement is a disgrace. Penny
What a mess this is – the coast should be in Crown ownership. Roger
If this ruling is not overturned it spells a disaster for NZ. The whole coast will go under tribal control and they will exploit it for all they are worth.  Larry
Things in NZ are going from bad to worse! Karl