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Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman

Court Hearings for Tribal Claims Edge Closer


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Landing passengers and cargo from coastal steamship in Ngati Porou’s claimed area, Waipiro Bay, East Coast 1890s, F R Hargreaves; Source: NZ Electronic Text Collection VUW Library.

Most New Zealanders strongly believe that the country’s beaches and sea are part of our national heritage and should be in public hands. They share a sense of dismay that the National Party repealed Crown ownership of the foreshore and seabed to appease their then coalition partner, the Maori Party, allowing opportunistic tribal groups to lodge hundreds of claims, covering every square inch of our coast many times over.

This means that if you want to prevent the ownership of your local beach or fishing spot being given to tribal groups, then you, along with your family and neighbours, will need to help refute their allegations that they have “exclusively used and occupied the area from 1840 to the present day without substantial interruption”, which is the statutory test that claimants must satisfy to successfully gain title to the coast.

National justified their law change with assertions that Labour’s 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act did not allow tribal applicants “to have their day in court”. But this was not true.

Under Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed Act, no claims could be settled without the evidence being tested in the High Court. In comparison, in their 2011 Marine and Coastal Area Act, National established a completely separate Crown Engagement pathway to enable claimants to avoid the High Court altogether. In these cases the Minister of Treaty Negotiations acts as the Judge, awarding title to the coast without any right of appeal.

It’s therefore no surprise that two out of three of the almost 600 tribal claims for the coast are for Crown Engagement, with only a third lodged in the High Court.

But having Ministers negotiate coastal claims has already been shown to be a disaster – as the Ngati Porou Bill that is in front of Parliament again demonstrates.

Ngati Porou’s claim for control of 200 km of coastline north of Gisborne – stretching out 12 nautical miles to the edge of the Territorial Sea – was lodged under the old Foreshore and Seabed Act, and a deal was negotiated with Labour’s then Treaty Minister Michael Cullen. However, to finalise the agreement, their evidence of exclusive use and occupation had to be tested in the High Court. Ngati Porou delayed their hearing, and then when the new Government changed the law, they were able to avoid the Court altogether.

In 2013, National’s Treaty Minister Chris Finlayson, resumed negotiations with Ngati Porou under the new law and commissioned a report to assess their evidence. But since the results were never published, and with locals continuing to challenge the validity of Ngati Porou’s claims to the coast, I lodged an Official Information Act request a copy of the report.

According to the OIA, the report was never completed – in spite of the Judge’s requests, Ngati Porou failed to provide the evidence justifying their claim for the coast: “Dame Justice Judith Potter was contracted by Office of Treaty Settlements to complete an independent assessor’s report in relation to Ngati Porou’s potential customary marine title interests in 2013. The independent assessor is waiting for further material from the Crown and Te Runanganui o Nati Porou. She will be in a position to progress her report when this material is provided.”

In other words, if the current Bill is rubber-stamped by Parliament, Ngati Porou will gain control of a vast area of coastline – along with a huge $15.3 million pay-out – without the legitimacy of their evidence of exclusive use and occupation of the coast ever being officially verified.

This is an appalling state of affairs that could lead to a gross miscarriage of justice.

What should happen is that the Bill should be postponed pending an inquiry to ascertain whether Ngati Porou have held the East Coast area they are claiming “exclusively and continuously since 1840” – as is required for any coastal claim to succeed, whether under the original Foreshore and Seabed Act or the new Marine and Coastal Area Act. With that particular stretch of coastline having been used as a public road for over 100 years, it is unlikely that their evidence – if properly assessed – would stack up.

In reality, the only way that such an inquiry would occur is if concerns were raised by the Minister of Treaty Negotiations Andrew Little (who should have checked the evidence before tabling National’s Bill in Parliament), or by the Attorney General David Parker, who is acting in the public interest in the High Court claims – or, by Winston Peters, who would surely recognise the gross injustice of the situation.

In the hope that ‘someone’ will listen, here’s a letter that I have sent to those three Ministers – please feel free to send something similar if you share our concerns.

Dear Minister,

It has come to our attention that the evidence, that Ngati Porou have held the area of the East Coast that they are claiming in the Bill that is in front of Parliament “exclusively and continuously since 1840”, has never been ‘officially’ verified.

The evidence of their claim, which was originally lodged under the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, should have been tested in the High Court, but the 2008 election came along and the law was then changed.

The former Minister of Treaty Negotiations contracted Dame Justice Judith Potter to assess their evidence in 2013, but since Ngati Porou failed to provide her with the information she requested, she was unable to complete her review.

It is understood that the area of the East Coast that Ngati Porou is claiming to have held “exclusively and continuously since 1840” was used as a public road for over 100 years, casting serious doubts on the legitimacy of their claim.

Parliament now stands on the cusp of passing into law a Bill that gives Ngati Porou significant new powers over the coast, along with a $15.3 million settlement, without the validity of their evidence ever being officially tested.

This potentially represents a gross miscarriage of justice on the people of New Zealand.

I would respectfully request that the Bill be postponed pending an official inquiry into the legitimacy of the evidence on which Ngati Porou’s claim is based.

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely…

Now, to some new developments in the High Court claims process.

Between 28 May and 27 June, Justice Collins held 10 case management conferences for claimants and counsel involved in the eight priority High Court claims that had commenced under the previous Foreshore and Seabed Act – along with those involved in the multitude of overlapping claims. A Minute outlining the issues raised and the decisions reached was issued.

Claimants complained about the delays being experienced in receiving Crown funding. While Maori applicants are eligible for over $300,000 to help prepare their cases, those opposing the claims have to pay a $110 filing fee for each claim (and there are over 200), plus all legal costs.

Concerns were also raised about the fact that Minister Andrew Little is expected to take up to 18 months to decide which of the 380 claims for Crown Engagement he will negotiate. With many claimants having applications in both pathways, these delays are forcing the adjournment of High Court cases.

Justice Collins believes that resolving conflicts over overlapping claim applications will be a significant challenge for the Court, and he hopes claimants will resolve their differences through good faith negotiations. 

Some claimants have called for pre-trial hearings to determine the scope and meaning of the major ‘test’ in the Marine and Coastal Area Act, namely the “exclusive use” and “occupation” since 1840 requirement. They are considering making an application under r 10.15 of the High Court Rules to that effect. The Judge believes such a determination would be difficult without hearing the full facts of a case.

This is one of the most critical issues in the whole claims process. If the Judge making that determination – whether in a pre-trial hearing or during the first case – takes a liberal approach (in the way that Chris Finlayson did in a Ngati Pahauwera Crown Engagement case when he decided that an area of coastline south of Gisborne had been used “exclusively” by the tribe since 1840, when it too had been used as a public road for over 100 years), then most of New Zealand’s coastline will end up being owned and controlled by tribal groups. If, on the other hand a literal interpretation is made (which was the intention of the Court of Appeal Judges in their decision that triggered this whole claims debacle), then relatively few customary areas are likely to be found to exist.  

Some iwi claimants are also questioning whether the Attorney-General should be able to oppose claims “in the public interest”. They were informed that if they want to persist in questioning this, they should make an application citing their evidence under r 10.15 of the High Court Rules – before 30 August 2018.

This is another critical issue in the claims process, since if the Attorney General was not acting in the public interest opposing High Court claims, the opposition to them would be limited and spasmodic – especially as those opposing the claims have no access to Crown resources or funding.

A key objective of the case management conferences was to put in place timeframes for progressing priority claims. Of those eight, two with cases under Crown Engagement have been granted adjournments, four are yet to be progressed, and two are now moving towards hearings.

The first of these is a claim by Clarkson – see CIV-2011-485-789 HERE – for a Customary Marine Title for an area of coastline in southern Hawke’s Bay near Prangahau. The hearing is set for 15 July 2019. The claimants are expected to serve their evidence on the Attorney General and overlapping claimants by 17 October 2018. This information will then posted on the Ministry of Justice website to allow for public scrutiny.

The second case is a claim by Ngati Pahauwera – see CIV-2011-485-821 HERE – for an area of coastline between Tauranga and Gisborne that was used as a public road for over 100 years. Their Crown Engagement claim has already been approved by the Minister, but since they didn’t get all they wanted – including a wahi tapu applied across the whole claimed area to keep the public out – they are trying their luck in the High Court. Their evidence is to be served on the Attorney General by 20 December 2018, and their Court hearing will be scheduled for early 2020.

Dr Hugh Barr, the Secretary of the Council for Outdoor Recreation Associations, who is this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, explains that CORANZ, as an interested party in many of the claims, “challenges the setting up of ‘wahi tapu’ because they stop public access to the foreshore and seabed, which makes recreational use of these areas impossible. No-one wants to be prohibited from using our beaches and foreshore and seabed – this is the area that is most used for outdoor recreation, far more so than our National and Forest Parks and reserves, even though they too are outstanding places.”

The High Court has scheduled ten more case management conferences for June next year, this time to put in place timetables to progress all of the other claims through to the hearing stage.

With the High Court cases now well underway, the two voluntary groups that are acting in the public interest by opposing all of the claims – CORANZ and the Landowners’ Coalition – will need more help.

Thanks to your assistance, the NZCPR was able to raise the funds to help them cover the cost of the $110 filing fee for each of the 200 High Court claims. But with substantial legal expenses ahead, the NZCPR is building a fighting fund to help provide them with some decent support – if you would like to assist these groups who will be standing up for us in the Court, please click HERE to help.

Finally with the High Court claims drawing closer, we strongly urge anyone who would like to defend their patch of coast from tribal opportunists to send us your details via the claims register on our website HERE – we will all need to work together if we are to defeat these claims.

THIS WEEK’S POLL ASKS:

Would you support a Government inquiry into the Ngati Porou claim?

 

*Poll comments are posted below.

 

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

 

Click to view x 120

THIS WEEK’S POLL COMMENTS

This is terrible that Maori want exclusive rights to foreshore Ian
Not having an inquiry will continue the Sham that is the TOW. Likely there are powerful forces out there that will make sure that does not happen. officials will likely not recognize facts anyway. Sam
More land-grabbing to disadvantage the rest off us. John
The legal basis of the claims by one group to the New Zealand coast has to be challenged in fairness to all New Zealanders Martin
As a citizen, I have little personal impact on claims such as these, so a formal inquiry is desperately needed to protect our country from grasping maori hands. Carl
It would be crazy not too Paul
It is a travesty Frank
I would like an iquiry into how the government makes a law so a group of New Zealanders, based on race, have the right over beaches to collect stones and launch waka! Robert
It appears that the current actions by Parliament is a gross disregard for justice Malcolm
Why not, they have no right to any coastsl land and the crown should reinstate owenership.that will therefore give all New Zealanders access end of story. Under John Keys leadership his party pandered to the Maori party and this is the direct result. Ken
What we need more than an inquiry is a transformational change in our society away from b/s Maori myth-making & grabbing power,, lunatic Green ideolog[es and the expansion of Govt’s welfare but this will never happen under this Far, far Left government or National under Bridges. We need a courageous, responsible leader with vision as US Pres .Trump, not the communistic, bimbo PM we have undemocratically been dumped with. Monica
Also. If there is an official inquiry it should be published so we all understand how they came to the conclusion if they find in favour of the tribe who lodged the claim. Erin
Needs to be verified John
Most certainly yes,but one would have to be aware of the credibility of how conducts the Enquiry.Maori are not to be trusted in any way,Just the word Maori represents lies,crime,child and welfare abuse and racial promotion.Indeed they have become a dispicable breed.Sadly our gutless Politicians dance to the Maori war drums and any Enquiry organised by them is most likely to be corrupt white washing. Don
It is time to end these relentless attacks on our country by opportunistic racists. Charles
To support an official enquiry should be in every citizens interest( well— except those who are pushing these highly questionable claims against our country) There has to be a enquiry about who established this moronic rule to pay Maori claimants 300 000 Dollars of our tax money per claim and non Maori are getting the big finger and a bill if they want to establish a counter claim.I’d call that racism in its purest form!!! Michael
We require many more official inquires into the legitimacy of the numerous claims made re the foreshore seabed. Whats new wasting more of the tax payers dollars. Ross
These claims will go on as long as stupid weak governments give way to these pushy radicals who will not stop with just coastal claims if they get what they want they will push on for more claims until eventually they will claim all of New Zealand. Digby
Bloody oath. Clark
Why is it that we are having more and more problems with a number of a dissatisfied Race that want to show their ugly side and ruin our lovely Country through GREED and want to reclaim what is NOT rightfully theirs (NO-ONE can own or claim as their own what is World wide) and thus spoil a Countries relationship with a group of dissidents –the more they get given the more they aim for..this should be stopped before it goes far to far Marylin
   
The whole claims process is illegitimate & should be filed in file 13 Phil
It’s long past the time to pull the plug and drain the swamp of fraud and corruption. Where is New Zealand’s DONALD TRUMP? Don
Racism Greg
This must be overturned in the interests of ALL New Zealanders, not just the greedy racist few Peter
enough’s enough !! Mark
This is completely insane! The coastline should preserved for the free use of all NZer’s forever and we are expected to pay to protect this right? How about pushing for a binding referendum? Paul
If this process wasnt so serious it could be classed as a bad joke. Good on you National, for wiping Helen’s Foreshore and Seabed Act for short term political gain. Richard
How long before we get a “South African white farmer” situation where the government stands by and lets the inevitable violence all happen? John
Anything the NZCPR wants to do is ok by me. Michael
This needs to happen Nick
There should be an end to the tiresome claims of some Maori to be able to hold sovereignty over any portion of N.Z and /or its assets and the Govt. handouts should stop Harvey
It must happen otherwise that claim will be used as a precedent for all of the other false claims. Bryan
Long overdue Peter
Absolutely. The Coast is for all. Favoured treatment for Maori must stop. Allan
Consecutive “ministers” of the crown have virtually sold us down the drain. That’s Nationals legacy, long may they remain in opposition, whilst the proigressives send this country into economic oblivion Sam
It would also be more accurate if your newsletters replaced the term Maori with Part-Maori. As a 4th generation NZ’er down both sides of my family tree, many so termed Maori are more directly European than me. Muriel can you please get yourself on NewstalkZB again, National radio (fat chance) and Q&A to wake up a politically lazy NZ. David
Everything our country is and has been is likely to be lost if these claims are uphelf. Heather
This mater is too important to let slip by on unsubstantiated evidence or folk lore. Ross
Kind of basic to unbiased justice! Susan
This and every claim. At present any made up story can be presented and is accepted by a bias inserted tribal governance supporter. Bruce
Absolutely, but wouldn’t the government be doing this in each case anyway? Surely they are not just taking their word for it! Eric
They seem to be having official inquires into much less important issues so most certainly! This current bunch of clowns in Government will go down in history as the least decisive M P’s ever to occupy the treasury benches – they have shoveled off any controversial decisions to the trough feeders that lurk in the capital. Except of course the Taxcinda decision on future oil exploration.- just before she jetted off to the Heads of Government Meeting. But of course that wasn’t “grandstanding” YEAH RIGHT!! Rex
I’d be insane to. John
Dividing New Zealanders with the foreshore and seabed claims needs to stop NOW. Martin
   
The country is being brownmailed’ on this matter and it is time it is seen as such by the courts. Clinton
Absolutely ….claims “full of garbage” with the ‘ghosts of the past’ ruling the world… Enough is enough..!!! CHowes
This is an absolute farce that they are making any claims at all. Why can’t they just be New Zealanders like the majority, no minority should have power. Simon
Yes – if it actually happens! Scott
Race/tribal based ownership of the foreshore given will be just the start. NZ belongs to all. Peter
The claims process is totally out of control and no assistance ever given to opposing views John
   
When oh when is this total money grab stop, or at least a government with the balls to say NO!!!!!! Graeme
I am appalled that this debacle has proceeded this far. The general public I am sure are unaware of the activities of Maori and have their heads in the sand. Andrew
National were stupid and Labout will give in and NZ will be stuffed. John
Keep all beaches for all New Zealanders, simply say NO to all claims by Maoris. Gerard
Clearly Ngati Porou did NOT have exclusive use of these areas historically and that is at least one cause for demanding an inquiry. Rob
It’s time the Government started having the guts to say |”NO”. It’s just getting worse — why we live here I don’t know when you look at whats happening and the standard of person we are raising. (Ie low life’s) Alan
Absolutely. … What a traverse of justice! Simon
This whole scenario needs challenging. Its easy to see why Key scuttled out the door when he did. Having set the scene for his mates he then skips out. We must also remember that Key didn’t do this on his own he worked witha caucus that also must have agreed to these decisions. It gives me grave concerns for New Zealand going forward what with the present Government being incompetent and National being corrupt if we don’t get binding referenda as the law of country very soon it’s going to be too late. Ronmac
Anything that diminishes existing universal right of access must be subject to public scrutiny and all negotiations must be transparent. Most certainly there must be an official enquiry, the evidence and findings available to ALL citizens! Michael
Another no brainer. why are children in charge ! Bryan
What else can be done to stop this nonsense ? David
Absolutely ..There is NO legitimate evidence … just a whole bunch of thieving Maoris who will cheat, lie and steal anything and everything this stupid government ( and the last government ) will allow. Sadly, those of us who are actually civilized are fast becoming second class citizens. Des.
The foreshore belongs to ALL New Zealanders, not to any tribe making false claims, Andrew
The sea and coast must be always available to all New Zealanders.Maori claims are greedy and disgusting Peter
All fictitious claims that should never been accepted! Jim
Wake up to the wool being pulled over your eyes, New Zealand.  Clive
TOO MUCH IS HAPPENING IN THIS AREA WITHOUT A SOUND BASIS. KEVIN
So very important that we protect our coastal land for all who live here. June
Should be open and available for all New Zealanders. Monty
A successful claim would be a game changer for all New Zealanders – the law should be changed so we get back to where beaches etc are owned by the Government! Antony
These claims are just nonsense and are part of the gravy train Maori seem to think is there just for the taking! Where is the one people one country? It must be stopped dead! Bill
Absolutely. Maori Iwi and their ridiculous claims really bug. The bleeding hearts who support them should wake up and realize they were stone age people before the settlers arrived from Europe and practiced cannibalism. If NZ was in the hands on Maori since 1840 I don’t think it would be anything like what it is today. Colin
The NZ Seabed and coastal area belongs to ALL New Zealanders and their future generations. NZ does not belong to Maori people only !! Pierre
The iwi/maori claims are NOT LEGAL & the public is being DENIED DEMOCRACY by this rubbish & land GRAB & NZEALANDERS NEED TO WAKE UP Cindy
Would it do any good! Bill
Again maori are given funds to push their outrageous claims. Labour, National both are pathetic .Where is a party will scruples?? Ray
We must have an inquiry or our children and their children will be disadvantaged Russell
New Zealanders need to stand up and stop all this claims nonsense now. Mike
We need common sense on all claims, or we as whites will be second class Phil
No Maori tribe/Iwi should have total claim or control to any of New Zealand seabeds or foreshores. We are after all ON NATION are we not.. Leave that status in Crown ownership so we all can benefit from the fishing rights and leisure activities that New Zealand coastline and sea provides. Wayne
One nation; one people. Allan
This Land Is My Land This Land Is Your Land – —– Bill
Tome they have no claim at all the Coast Line & Sea Bed was here before any Man set foot in NZ so it belongs to all New Zealanders, just not one group. Why does the Government tell them to go away they are a bunch of whips. Geoff
ONE LAW FOR ALL John
Disgraceful situation. Lazy, greedy tribal groups with their hands out for more public money. Robert
I’m getting sick and tired of all this rubbish. no one owns the seabed and foreshore other than the country itself David
Would even give a little towards costs Barry
   
This land grab should be nipped in the bud. The coast does not belong to one but all Nz’ers. and should be in the control of a parliamentary ministry. Elizabeth
The Maori elite want that coastline more than the taxpayers and voters. Media isn’t doing its job for and the voters are asleep. All they want to do is follow sports. Muriel is doing a terrific job explaining all this but most won’t listen. Too bad. I wonder what will happen when the foreshore and seabed will be in a few hands. It’ll be interesting to watch. Jackp
I am usually a National Party supporter but the party and Chris Finlayson in particular’s handling of this whole issue is absolutely disgusting! Ron
If they want it they must prove their right “beyond reasonable doubt”. And they should pay their own way on this claim — all these opportunistic claims funded by the taxpayer are vexatious court action and should be struck out if they are funded by the taxpayer. John
The coast should belong every one. Richard
The truth needs to come out! Roger
It’s going to get worse! Bruce
This all needs to be above board. Andrew
I would support such an inquiry but feel that such action would not give any finite result. If passing the bill in question is seen to be promoting votes for the incumbent governing party it will be passed with disregard to the effect that it may have on the citizens of the country. After all the war cry from both sides of the house is “We must stay in power regardless of our stupidity” Sometimes our politicians run a very close second to President Trump. Tony
These claims are not just and if allowed to continue, will be responsible for inciting uprising throughout the nation. Maori have to get used to the idea that it is truth that reigns and not deception. CM
Absolutely it is paramount to the People of NZ STEVE
This is National’s legacy to the country….division and conflict. Roger
All claims should be investigated to ensure that the claim(s) are valid and that the correct claiment is identified Rob
Not only this Government but weak preceding politicians have systematically manoeuvred legislation to ‘encourage’ their own votes against the will of the far greater majority of New Zealanders. BEWARE New Zealand. Stuart
This situation should never have arisen, John Key absolutely messed this seabed and foreshore thing up totally and yes there should be an enquiry as soon as possible Mike
Absolutely. Our country is being gobbled up by sham claims. Gina
   
I support an inquiry, though given the process so far, what would it achieve? Peter
When will we see every NZer Be seen as equal all with the same rights. When will settlements be over? Bruce
Their evidence, or lack thereof shuld be tested in court. It is a gross miscarriage of justice Q
These types of claims have no legitimacy and are costly and a waste of court time. This country must look forward NOT backwards if it is going to prosper. Graeme
I am Ngati Porou and I believe that for justice to be done it must be seen to be done Arthur
Definately Graeme
Not just their claim but all of the claims Richard
The juggernaut that has arisen from John Keys treachery in cleaving to the defunct maori parties demands for the MACA has seen the demise of democracy and equal citizenship in NZ.. The ‘greedy train’ will not come to a holt because central government politicians are inextricably involved with the Legal boffins who make the most ‘cream’ from these invidious actions. 10 year from now you want see a white ‘honky’ on the beach because maori have the use of Wai Tapu, ‘pay up or hip out’. Maureen
There simply is no evidence so will not happen. Ngati Porou will find another way to enforce their illegal claims. Chris
The coast should be for all NZers not just a few noone should be able to claim it Cherryl
Anything to do with costal claims from Maori are fraught with land grabbing illegitimacy and as long as I live the foreshore and seabed belongs to us all. Graeme
This is just another lazy maori scheme to thieve money of the hard working taxpayer of NZ , It is white lawyers that are doing this and should be disbarred, and this will lead to civil WAR Colin
If there is any Claim for any thing it should always be Investigated thoroughly. It should NOT be Based on non factual Historic verbal Myth, then processed to pacify a Minority Geoff
Why do we need an enquiry at all? let the NZ Govt legitimise the rights of all NZr’s to all coastal entities of NZ IAN
Of course, should be automatically tested and not just accepted by a sympathetic minister away from public scrutiny. Graham
I think it would be very wise to do this. The ramifications of ‘exclusive use’ are worrying. It assumes a passive response from the public at large to be excluded from a beach, assuming this occurs. It’s a big assumption and those making these decision should be mindful of that. Barbara
Another racial legislation Gareth
The enquiry will be a complete waste of public funds as the members will be hand picked to deliver the recommendations desired by the claimants. These outcomes being that Maori own all the foreshore and the seabed, and have the legal authority to either stop general access, or demand payment for that access. The whole “treaty” claim industry is a running economic and sepratist sore which is undermining NZ. All “treaty” based claims and entities created to further them (Tribunal, Maori Land court, TPK etc) should be abololished at once. Andrew
Maori investigating Maori Claims? Frank
Where is democracy? Brian
This goes on and on and is outside of any treaty agreements – what next Maurice
Coastlines in NZ must remain open and accessible to all New Zealanders and not be controlled by part-Maori groups. John
   
All evidence should be truthful and factual and without doubt Rob
This has got completely out of hand time the government stood up and said enough How much tax payers money has been given to the privileged few over the years and where has it gone ? as there seems to be more poverty almongst the Claimants than any other group Peter
One nation .. one people .. No racist claims Kabe
This is just another example of how our part Maori negotiate , they make outrageous claims which they know they will never get and our weak kneed politicians offer them a little bit less which is exactly what they wanted and they go away happy until the next time .Most of the part Maori driving the claim will be a lot more other than Maori .It is frightening how our part Maori have taken over the press and are able to continually feed us the Maori point of view . It is like brainwashing . Jock
The gravy train for maori must stop Kevin
Absolutely .. all claims should be closely scrutinised. This is important!! Maddi
We do do something to stop apartheid Bryan
Maori do not own the foreshow and seabed or coastal areas. Neither do Pakeha. It is all to remain as is. Cancel the claim. Helen
Absolutely there should be an inquiry, but I don’t think there will be one. Instead Ngati Porou will be given the power and the money and they will be laughing all the way to the bank because everyone was too politically correct to question them.  Andrew
What a shocker this deal is. How on earth could it have got to this stage – oh, yes, I almost forgot, it’s because politicians are in charge! Murray
There needs to be an inquiry otherwise the message it send out to all coastal claimants is to just say it all belongs to you, and it will be handed to you on a plate!  Sue
The bill should never have been tabled. Chris Finlayson should have stopped it until they gave Judge Potter their evidence. Jim
No evidence, no money and no special rights to the coast. It’s as simple as that! Karl