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Dr Muriel Newman

Next Steps in Coastal Claims

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The parade welcoming home our winning Emirates Team New Zealand crew – and the America’s Cup after a 14 year absence – was jubilant. Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby and the rest of the sailors, cyclists, designers, boat builders and other stakeholders, did our country proud, and we congratulate them on their wonderful success.

Watching the world class technology and talent of our team pitted against the best resources the world could offer – and winning through – was a triumph of Kiwi resolve and determination. Their stunning achievement adds to New Zealand’s growing reputation as a hub for outstanding creativity and innovation.

Over the next four years – in the run up to the 36th America’s Cup – we can expect renewed interest in the coastal marine environment, especially from sailing and boating enthusiasts. They are undoubtedly already planning on how they can best encourage local involvement to increase participation in their sports. 

However, if any of their plans require resource consents they will find the obstacles in their way have just become a whole lot larger. Under the Marine and Coastal Area Act, almost 600 claimants to our coastline are required to be consulted over any resource consent applications that cover their areas of interest. 

In essence, multiple overlapping claims have been lodged for virtually every square inch of New Zealand’s coastline by Maori groups who want to control the resources and activities within the area.

The law states that anyone seeking a resource consent in an area covered by a claim needs the written permission of claimants, who have the right to oppose the consent or seek to modify the conditions. While the law is silent over whether they can charge a fee for their involvement, if land-based resource consent consultation with Maori is anything to go by, money will undoubtedly be expected to change hands.

With multiple claimants for all areas of the coast, working out who needs to be consulted may not be easy. While Regional Councils will eventually provide lists of claimants, in the meantime the Ministry of Justice website advises applicants that, “You’ll need to check the Public Notices section of your local newspaper or relevant national paper. You could also ask your local library to help you find out if a public notice has been published in the newspaper.”

We say that’s simply not good enough. To make the process more transparent, we are providing as much information as we can through our NZCPR.com website – but more on that later.

In effect, these hundreds of claims will put a brake on marine and coastal development for the foreseeable future, while the biggest resource grab in our country’s history progresses its way to resolution.

At stake is 10 million hectares (a third of the land area of New Zealand) of the richest natural resources in the country. The coastal marine area covers 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.

Although Maori tribal groups like to describe themselves as the ‘guardians’ of the environment, the details within the coastal applications shows something quite different – that their primary interest is in gaining the rights to exploit New Zealand’s coastline.

In fact, it turns out that some of the Maori groups that are vociferously protesting against companies that are applying for offshore mining rights want to be able to do it for themselves, with many groups specifying the ‘extraction of minerals’ in their foreshore and seabed High Court applications. Those minerals listed include sand, peat, shingle, rocks, aggregate, stone, iron and ochre.

But their interests go well beyond minerals. Some claimants have stated that they want the right to “take” dolphins and whales, penguins and seals, even though they are protected species. Many want to harvest seabirds and their eggs, as well as all species of fish and shellfish. They want vegetation – including seaweed, which has commercial value as a liquid fertiliser. Some want control of the landing, launching, anchoring and mooring of all vessels, of all boatsheds, and of all aquaculture development. Most intend imposing rahui to protect their fishing spots and wahi tapu to prohibit public access – especially to sand dunes, which are not even part of the marine and coastal area.

The claims that have been lodged are of two basic types – a Customary Marine Title and a Protected Customary Right. Most of the claimants are going for both, no doubt on the assumption that if they lose their claim for a Customary Marine Title, they may be awarded the lesser Protected Customary Right instead. That would give them the right to carry out specified ‘customary’ activities, without the need for consents. Local authorities would be prohibited from granting resource consents to anyone else that could have an adverse effect on that protected customary right.

So what would be the impact if groups succeed in gaining a Customary Marine Title to your local beach or harbour?

Essentially successful claimants will have rights akin to ownership. They will have the right to veto all resource consents and conservation activities proposed for their area. They would have the right to charge any commercial operators that use their area – such as tourist ventures, fishing charters or surfing schools. They would be given the ownership rights to all of the minerals found in their area – except gold and silver, oil and uranium – which they would be permitted to mine and sell, either directly, or under licence. They would also be entitled to receive the royalties from any existing mining operations in their area that are paid to the Crown, back-dated to when their application was first lodged.

They would have the right to impose rahui to ban unauthorised access to their fishing grounds, and wahi tapu to prevent the public from visiting their area – with the law allowing them to employ wardens to police the area and enforce $5,000 fines.

Of the almost 600 claims that were lodged just before the April 3rd deadline, almost 400 were directed to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations for the Direct Crown Engagement pathway, and 200 were lodged with the High Court

Some claims did not meet the criteria and have now been rejected, leaving around 180 claims to be considered by the High Court and 378 by the Minister – and of those, around 200 have now been processed and posted on the Ministry of Justice website.

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations has advised that public submissions will be called on claims being considered through the Direct Negotiation pathway, but unlike the High Court submission process, no fee will be required.

One group that has been through the Direct Negotiation process is the Northern Hawke’s Bay iwi Ngati Pahauwera, which is presently deciding whether to accept the Deed of Agreement that has been negotiated with the Crown. In particular, the Independent Assessor’s report on the case provides some useful information about the sort of considerations that will be involved in determining the validity of these marine and coastal area claims.

Since the closing date for claims in early April, the Attorney General and the High Court have been working on procedures to rationalise the process for dealing with the claims, especially since so many claims are overlapping, with some submitted to both the Minister and the High Court.

Accordingly, the country has now been divided into 21 application groups, for case management purposes. These are labelled ‘A’ to ‘U’ on maps that have been provided by the High Court.

All of this information is now posted on the Countering Coastal Claims Campaign page of our NZCPR.com website HERE, providing a comprehensive resource for the claims process, with updates added as they comes to hand.

In particular, the Campaign page contains links to the newspaper advertisements of claims, to the claim applications lodged with the High Court (by CIV number), to the High Court maps of all of the claims to the coast, and to the High Court spreadsheets containing map references and claimant group information including contact details. A list of all claims lodged with the Crown for Direct Engagement is also provided, as is the link to the Ministry of Justice website which provides details of the processed claims.

During the six years since the Marine and Coastal Area Act was passed, the only reported High Court claim to have been finalised was CIV-2011-485-806 for an area to the south west of Stewart Island covering two Muttonbird Islands. With only the Attorney General opposing the claim, the Judge found in favour of the applicant group.

That’s why the NZCPR believes that strong public opposition to all claims is crucial.

Accordingly, we are helping to cover the tens of thousands of dollars in application fees and other costs that fishing and recreation groups are incurring – on behalf of the New Zealand public – to fight these claims. While Maori claimants can receive over $400,000 in taxpayer assistance to prepare their cases, those opposing them have to pay $110 to the High Court for each claim.  

With almost $30 million allocated to the claims process in this year’s budget alone, it is a gross injustice that taxpayers are being forced to fund groups who want to exploit the coast for their own selfish ends, while those who want to oppose their greed are not only not eligible for any financial assistance at all, but are forced to pay! If you would like to help those who will be standing up for us in the Court against those well resourced claimants, please click HERE.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Hugh Barr, the Secretary of CORANZ, the Council for Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand, which is opposing most of the claims, explains:

“Any non-tribal group has to pay all its expenses itself. Again the ease of getting reimbursed by the taxpayer is a very large incentive for tribal groups, and their lawyers and historians, to lodge this avalanche of late claims. It’s money for jam. They have nothing to lose. Most of New Zealand’s coast is covered two or three times over, with these late claims.

“This sorry state of affairs over the Marine and Coastal Area, highlights just how far New Zealand has degenerated in the nearly nine years of National Government rule from being a democracy, to being a place where people claiming to be of Maori descent from a tribe living on the coast, have race-based rights that other citizens do not have.”

To successfully gain a customary right over an area, a Maori group must essentially prove that they “hold the specified area in accordance with tikanga” and “have exclusively used and occupied the area, without substantial interruption, either from 1840 to the present day or from the time of a customary transfer until the present day.”

As a result, in order to oppose spurious claims, we believe it is imperative that not only fishing and recreation groups are involved, but locals as well.

Accordingly, we have developed a website registration facility to allow everyone who is concerned about the claims to register their interest in helping to defend the coast. Once you register your interest we will keep you informed about the progress of claims in your area. 

Our aim is to ensure that each and every claim for the coast will be strongly opposed locally and to that end, we are also planning targeted public information advertising at the appropriate time.

We would urge everyone interested in stopping our marine and coastal area from passing into iwi ownership to register their interest on our Campaign page HERE.

Please help spread the word by telling others that they too can register.

Our aim is to establish a loud and unified voice to ensure that our foreshore and seabed remains in public hands.


Do you think that Maori tribal groups should be considered as ‘guardians’ of the environment?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


I can not think of one thing Maori have done in my lifetime for the benefit of the environment on their own. Robert
Certainly not the marine and coast around New Zealand MUST remain with the government for all New Zealanders NOT, a minority . Guardianship is just an other way to extract money. Wendy
DO NOT VOTE national THIS ELECTION. Or you can say good bye to the coastline etc. Alan
Absolutely not. Barbara
Noooooo Nev and kath
We all own the environment Don
Apartheid, here we come! TOBY
They have shown no evidence of greater responsibility or care for the environment than any other section of our society. Hugh
No more than any other New Zealander! Kevan
Having studied various opinions etc I am not persuaded it will be a good thing. Godfrey 
If part-Maori are unable to control their personal alcohol intake, how can they possibly be expected to control vast areas of the coast and seabed? Peter
For the same old reasons, charging a fee for something that should be for handled by ALL NZ citizens not just for Maori, assuming that only Maori are appointed. Audrey
Never. Will racism ever cease in this country? John
There are very few maori’s who have a regard for the environment. There main concern is to fleece money (cash only) from ordinary NZ ears so that they can live the high life, for the Maori elite only. Fines paid by those who offend will also have to be paid in cash. Allan
I am of Maori decent. I am registered on the Maori Electoral role, have been for 40 years.( I am appalled at how the National Government has done a deal with the Maori Party to get their support on changes to the RMA. Changes that take away the rights of the individual and has put at great risk the protection of our environment. What gives the Maori party the right to have such privileges above other New Zealanders? Lets support the parties that will make the next Government accountable. Too much power for any group is not healthy, they forget where they’ve come from and who they are working for- Us the people. Me, well I am going to start by taking my name off the Maori Electoral role. My way of saying its not right to place the rights of Maori above other New Zealanders; And it won’t be National Government I vote for either! Keri
All N.Z people should have equal rights, no one should own beaches, lakes, air etc. it should be in Crown hands Colleen
When is it going to end? Never if the government keep giving them all they ask for. Time to say No More!! Carole
Never, never,never! Jim
It takes a strong Government to deal with such stupidity. To much at stake for the Politian’s to say no to such demands. Warren
Far from being guardians, Maori are the RAPISTS of our environment. But it seems ordinary kiwis are easily fooled by the smokescreen of political correctness so widely accepted in NZ. PC is actually complete bullshit and the focus needs to be on combating PC – then all other problems will also be solved. B
Maori has no image of responsibility – 80% of prison inmates are Maori who are 20% roughly of population  
When you watch the tv show about the fisheries the main culprits that take undersise, more than the legal amount are maoris and they want to be called guardians more like thiefs in real life,this sort of crap is more than likley the reason John Key stood down before the crap hits the fan. Richard
Liars racists and tribal idiots just wanting to gain power. Maori are cunning as ———. We appear to be cowards and we can not support the National party who have instigated the total takeover for their control of power. Lance
It is a nonsense and an absurdity that Maori have greater interest in the environment than any other Kiwi. A nonsense of belief and actuality. Jim
This is totally racist and elitist. Dorothy
No! Maori guardianship is just another construct in this whole sorry mess. It will eventually not end well, for anyone. Brian
All NZers have that role even if they don’t exercise it. We do not want another avenue of Maori sovereignty being imposed upon us as a nation Russell
Absolutely not. Craig
Under no circumstances David
Maori have never looked after the envitoment, always had to shift as they did no drainage and just poluted Garth
I am sick of bloody whinging maoris! They have held this country back for the last 40 years! Murray
Definitely not Jane
We are one people NOT TWO Denis
It’s an absurd proposition that having some Maori background overrides the best available science in decision making. Henry
Of course not Neil
Definetly Not!. Maori can no longer claim to be Tribal Groups as there has been so much mixed breeding that, maori no only exist as a Cult. One country and one law for all. Don
NO! Maories are NO GOOD gardians of anything. Gerard
This would be Hypocracy in its finest. While they may say everything was fine when they looked after the land, Quite simply it was because there was not many people here. To say they had an active part is keeping is so is clearly a lie. History tells us they hunted the Moa and 30 other birds to extinction, clear burnt vast areas of forest and fauna to do so, they are reepeatedly the culprits caught plundering undersize and excess qunatities of pau, kini and other seafood. When a Ngaphui leader gets caught with two wood pidgeon, it is indicative of the mindset of the elite. They do not want Gaurdianship, they want ownership, so they can do as they wish, and charge others for any involvement. This would clearly be a case of the Jackal in charge of the Henhouse. Steve
All New Zealanders should be guardians of the environment, especially those who own natural resources including land. Gregory
FO! Rapacious exploiters the lot of them! Reuben
No government has the authority to bequest any part of NZ to any group.NZ belongs to all New Zealanders!!!!! Garry
It’s a racist grab! Barry
Absolutely not. The National Party has sold the country down the road with the Marine and Coastal Area Act and this pandering to the Maori Party just has to stop. Terry
Another maori myth. Monica
We need a Govt with backbone, coalition with NZ 1st is the only way Geoff
Never Kevin
Racist Rubbish Selwyn
NO, I can’t believe this National Party are doing this to NZ, giving these no hopper Maoris our country on a platter, there are very few real Maoris let, most are not even 5th cast with Maori cunning, it’s time to take a stand NZ. Athol
Every New Zealander should have that responsibility. Bonnie
They couldn’t do anything unless there is Government funding behind it and that’s why they keep pestering Government. The trouble is the Government lets them through from time to time. It is our Governments that are more at fault. Eric
No signs of them being “guardians” of anything just exploiters. Ann
Ridiculous! Mark
They are unfortunately just greedy individuals whop think of nothing but their own interests and do not consider the future of the Country as a whole. Stephen
New Zealander’s should be the guardians of the environment not one group. Kevin
Environment belongs to all. Pete
This country is for all citizens, and there should be one law for all. The shore and sea bead belongs to everyone. John
Maori have proven in the past that they cannot be trusted to be guardians of the land as they suggest that they are. They have decimated the Huia, Moa, and gods knows what other species that were living here in NZ. I have personally seen how they guard the shell fish up the East Coast. Save it for themselves and once a gain strip everything bare for anyone else to get a feed. Tanga Tuwhenua i very much dought it. Wayne
Their claims for guardianship all stem from their mystical beliefs. Which we know is being joined more and more to the laws of this country, thanks to stupid modernist politicians, who have no idea of the foundations t,his country and continue to take us down the joint rulership track, just to stay in power. Dene
End apartheid in New Zealand now. Kerry
Unbelievable !! The secret dealings with the maoris over this claim is nothing more than an attempt to assist in remaining in power by using the maori party as a political ally. This will result in a very large proportion of voters being lost to the present Govt at next election. English and his mp’s in their patronage to the maoris and their ‘claims” is an abomination and betrayal of rights to all NZers who have built this nation. What have the maoris done to help build the country, all they do is take, they contribute nothing to it’s development, just claiming that they have rights that the majority of the population do not have, the list is endless and supported by weak politicians seeking power at the expense of the non maori majority population. Long overdue is the reply to the maoris and their claims to water, foreshore, seabed, etc etc, a very firm and very loud…….NO… NOT NEGOTIABLE…. Politicians, take note !! National party and they agreeing to David
Ask the Moa or the Moriori Johm
It is the right and duty of all NZers, not an ethnic minority Graeme
Maori tribal groups often only exist to assert power. It is power for the few. They do not exert power to assist the welfare of the tribes needy. Only power to squeeze money from the Government. Any new power only increases this privilege for a few : not the nation. Peter
We desperately need a change of government. The party that has policies to address this greedy Maori grab will get my vote. This is the biggest problem NZ faces right now. What say you Winston? Judith
No way! They are often the perpetrators of exceeding limits for sea food. The foreshore & seabed belongs to all New Zealanders. Bryan
This lunacy supported by the National Government must be stopped. Kevin
Nothing in this country should be by race. Absolutely nothing !! To do so, would make for a very divided and dangerous society. Making one race superior to all other races is a ticking racial time bomb. Marshall
Definitely not ! June
I have absolutely no confidence in Iwi to manage the environment. They will always have their hands out for the $s that they will demand for any consultation. That has already been proven countless times. Kerry
It is away past time for new zealanders to stand up to this bullshit We should have an open season an all gutless politicians regardless of their party William
Another joke …another excuse to agitate in ignorance and to not work Roy
Roll on the elections Alan
So Called Guardians (of anything environment) is just a euphamism for rewritten history and unelected governance by wat of customary creep. These same so calledself appointed Custodians now demand payment to visit our North Cape,, our central Mountain areas and soon our beaches and waterways. It amounts to nothing more than tribal (ethnic) based standover and extortion. The worst form of Apartheid Richard
Definetly not it all belongs to all New Zealanders a huge danger of having control and charging for profit and self interest Leo
Definitely not. Winifred
All New Zealander’s are the guardians of the environment. Paul
Hell no. They cannot even look after themselves without welfare. Ron
Not ever Mike
Absolutely not! These people are threatening the peaceful way of life in NZ and will NEVER stop with their demands. Koha? Much, much more is sought! And the beneficiaries will be? Lois
Tribalism has no place in environment. It is totally changed from tribal days. Tony
It should be all of us Richard
No. They don’t have any right to this special status. All NZers contrbute equally to the environment. Peter
Not under any circumstances. Steve
Maoris been given too much. James
What a massive rip off. Jeff
No. I don’t see that they would take more care than the general Parliament would. There is also a danger that they would block things the general public would want. Sheila
MMP has been the ruination of our political system. It has allowed politician’s to determine their own agenda, write their own rules , afraid of UTU and the whole of Maoridom. They are a weak and feeble lot living under their own self made rules. We need a complete clean out. Robert
All NZ ers own the coast and seabed as vested in the Crown. No race based policies giving one race advantages over all the others!! Lois
Travel in Northland and watch theses “guardians” chucking their KFC and McDonalds trash out their car windows. People of the land, alright. Andy
Its a scandalous disgrace, the Natioanl party should be ashamed Robert
What is wrong with these people they are unable to look after their own back yard how would they ever be guardians of the environment !!!!! Ross
Definitely not, maori have never been a safe pair of hands for our environment . fox in the chookhouse comes to mind if we cede guardianship to any one group of people when it comes to our environment. Dennis
Some old story about foxes & hen houses comes to mind…………. Dave
Enough is enough of these RACIST BASED CLAIMS by Maori. One Race One Country …Joke. The National Party are weak & gutless & are just interested in keeping their own seats warm. NEVILLE
Any charge to go on a beach for non maori is racist. Just look at the maoris who are charged with taking seafood over the limit now, they think it is their right. George
Guardians????? HAHA HA! Sorry but it makes me laugh—-. It is not about Guardianship. at all. The tribal elite has now reached the point where ( due to billions of dollars of our taxpayers money) they basically have bought off this ‘National ‘ Party and turned this outfit into a political punch and Judy show .These political turncoats sign off one law after the other in favour of a minority who do not care about conservation or for the ‘rest of us’. And we can all be sure as hell that a few sticky paws have been handsomely greased. ‘National’ in this unholy alliance with this so called ‘Waitangi Tribunal’ will continue to run our country into the ground and turn NZ into a koha ridden banana republic. The ‘Greens” will do their bit to further soften up peoples brains with their questionable agendas ( ie political correctness, gender politics etc) When our coast lines have been lost we can expect more hammer blows to come .We all are at great risk to a dangerous new race based socialist order where the agenda is to utterly control the entire country and stamp out all opposition. Michael
No way. Maori leadership has shown time and again it is corrupt and driven by self interest. David
The Maori have never demonstrated any interest to be “Guardians” of any thing Until it became financially viable for them. Cliff
This would be the same as “putting the fox in charge of the hen house”.Both stupid and dangerous to even consider such a proposal. William
Historically they have shown poor guardianship why should we believe that it will change. Andrew
They never have been and never will be if Kiwis stand up and get their gutless politicians to stand up and stop this dangerous racial money grabbing situation situation Graeme
Just another money for nothing grab we are all entitled to use the Coastline and beaches Laurel
They are only interested in ripping the people of our Country off Theodorus
Absolutely not. They are only in it to line the pockets of the elite in those groups. The stupid Kiwis who don’t stand up to these Greedy sods will one day fins one of them at the beach or other area with their hand out for money and boy will they be given a rude awakening Colin
No, no. no – a thousand times no. We are ALL guardians of this beautiful Earth. Jan
Do you see Maori activity doing conservation work. Sadly, not often and then it tends to be because they are blessing some birds being released or similar. Barbara
No – look what they did to the moa etc! David
Racist Greg
Again this is another race based piece of proposed legislation continuing to promote the gravy train fro one race. Kevin
The entire people of NZ should look after it, not just a group who see themselves above others. Andrew
It’s quite beyond all reason. Maori didn’t care one iota about the environment pre-1840. What on earth can those with ‘some’ Maori ancestry do that anyone else can’t do?!! We should stop this separatism post haste. It is totally ridiculous to think that part-Maori can do anything better or worse than anyone else. We should all be treated equally. Helen
NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. If maori had never visited New Zealand, we would still have Moa (moari deliberately set fire to the South Island grasslands, cooking the Moa where they stood), we would still have Tui so abundant they were forced to sit side-by-side on branches, we would still have Wood Pigeon so plentiful you couldn’t count. The list of moari acts of natural destruction and extinction just goes on and on and on. So, NO. And NO again. moari simply don’t have the credentials for the role. Mark
Why should Maori tribal groups be guardians of the environment? They were not the first people to discover and live in New Zealand. They have no more rights to the land than anyone else. Alison
The environment should be held by us all equally. JC
Absolutely NOT. By the time Europeans arrived, they had hunted every large land mammal to extinction – and they have demonstrated consistently, a disregard for the law regarding limits of catches. This is a people who kills Kerehu, because ‘it’s traditional’ and they needed them for a feast. NO, these people are NOT the people we need to guard our environment. Michelle
That is the job for government, not singled out racial groups. Konrad
As NZers surely they have an equal responsibility to take care of our coastal environment without giving superior rights to individual Maoris or so-called tribes of no relevance in NZ today! 6
All New Zealand Citizens should be guardians of the environment Sheryl
Such a proposal is another example of this National governments wholesale sell out to Maori in order for them to hold on to power.Most of concessions accorded Maori have been carried out in secretive corupt and racial process.Facts show Maori generally represents,crime,welfare and child abuse and financial mismanagement.One can add to that by including environmental abuse.Just consider the way in which care for their lands,their homes,their cars and their rape and pillage of both land and coastal natural resources.For Maori to be Made guardians of the environment is just not credible. Don
20 yrs ago, I was shot at, in a boat, if we got too close to the shore, in certain parts of the Kaipara Harbour,. If maori get all the foreshore, this is what will haooen everywhere. NO THANKS. Pete
They are really only interested in exploiting the foreshore and seabed, and history shows that they have never been interested in conservation, just recall how often they are caught with exploiting the recreational fishing. John
A fiction espoused by Maori and Maori-loving Europeans furthered by idiot politicians such as little Chris Finlayson who frequently grant them control or joint control over many aspects of the environment. The idea that Maori have both individual and collective and inate/nurturing genes that somehow make them natural protectors/ guardians. This is an oft repeated myth; which gains a little credence the longer it is repeated and perpetuated. Frank
Absolutley NOT!!! I live in this country too! I am a New Zealander!! I am absolutely sick to the heart at what this government is doing – giving away all my rights to choose to Maoris.!! I can see nothing but trouble coming from this. Elizabeth
As a prominent Tangata whenua member of the Hauraki Gulf Forum said at the February meeting when discussing the preservation of Pt England Reserve “People are more important than brds” [sic.] Derek
They wont gaurd it ,just chrage to use. More free money!!!! Peter
…..just another attempt at ‘mob rule’…. ChrisH
We know what kind of guardians they are when we consider what happened to the moa and their claims to be able to harvest kereru and other protected species. Don
no way…… Wayne
NZ is going backwards with all the claims by the maori descent people.They are not the indegenous people. Many other people here first.they don’t even know their history. Lorraine
GREED Keep the Foreshore and Seabed in the Government control. The Maori Tribal groups are looking at more than being ‘guardians’ and will eventually divide the country, sooner than later. David
Our foreshore and sea bed are for all New Zealanders to enjoy whitout being controlled by elite tribal groups. Robert
Absolutely not. Deb
One law for all Bryan
A racial disaster is about to happen thanks to an incompetent National Government. John
From the number of cases of illegal seafood gathering by people with Maori names they can hardly be called guardians! Ron
This is why we have a government to act for all of NZ Mike
We all are! Gail
We need to change this government for allowing this to even being considered. Margaret
NZ is one country and the law under which it is governed should apply equally to all. Allan
They are often the abuser’s !!! Mark
It is quite racist for any ethnic group to claim guardian ship of the environment above all other ethnicitioes that live in NewZealand. Wayne
I am against race based privileges. Yvonne
Never have been, never will be. Just another opportunity to put the hand out for a continuing free ride that this apartheid promoting government is encouraging. Why this corrupt, globalist agenda government is still polling over 45 per-cent in-favour is proof that ignorance is bliss for most of the population. A.G.R.
New Zealand is almost past the point of no return when it comes to Maori becoming the elite race with rights and powers over the rest of its citizens thanks to the National Party who has abandoned its own principals and worse, there voting base. Fred
This whole set up is only a gravy train for a few based on race. This is a great way to unify a country as in future I maintain that there will a real backlash. Voters are being sidelined and on an issue of great national importance. We must have a referendum prior to any legislation being enacted. If this comes into law without a referendum then I say goodbye to the National Party. Brian
Many of them seem to be the exact opposite. My own iwi, Ngai Tahu, talks the talk, but does not walk the walk. Tony
The government on behalf of all New Zealander’s are the rightful guardians of the environment. Diana
The Treaty is not New Zealand’s founding document, you are being lied to. Our true founding document is Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified on 03-05-1840, the day New Zealand was split from inside the boundaries of New South Wales (NSW) to become an independent British colony in its own right. The Charter of 1839 made New Zealand into a dependency inside the boundaries of New South Wales on the 14 January 1840 and by Treaty Maori chiefs agreed to give up their individual territories in return to become British subjects. By law British subjects cannot be in partnership with the Crown! Therefore, Maoris have no exclusive racial right over their fellow citizens. The international Law of Nature prohibits any individual or entity to ownership of navigable seas, rivers or lakes. Through both of the following, the above “Royal Charter” and the international “Law of Nature”, Maoris have no racial rights to the Marine and Coastal Area or any other racial right denied their fellow citizens. George
Maoris as guardians is the old fox in the hen house scenario For gods sake this National Govt. is giving away everything to these grasping thieving Maoris Neville
All New Zealanders Should have equal rights through the crown. Wayne
Tribal rule will destroy New Zealand’s democracy. Lachlan
Is this the same people who are supposedly ‘family’ orientated .? Not a good example of thier ability to guard then. Jill
APARTHEID is alive and well in NZ. Geoff
Definitely Not. Prior to the arrival of Europeans ,the Polynesian immigrants ( now called Maori!!) had no concept of land ownership in any shape or form. They occupied by conquest areas of land undefined by boundaries. Perhaps we should ask Ngai Tahu if any compensation was ever paid to the tribes they either annilated Enslaved or ate when they arrived in the South Island??? John
New Zealand has become a sick joke on this earth. We are ALL responsible for taking care of our environment for future generations. Therefore every person on this planet, no matter their ethnicity, is already ‘guardians’ of the environment. Maori tribal groups continually insist to New Zealanders they are ‘People of the Land’ (tangata whenua) so I presume that means, like all of us, they too are ‘guardians’ of the environment? Perhaps, yet again, this is just another Maori myth? Martin
Next thing they will want is to be able to go to war with the neighgbouring tribe, that is part ot their history is it not. Sam
This separative rubbish has no place in a democracy. The present government is a racist coalition hell bent on staying in power with racist policies to buy Maori votes. Such conniving is 3rd world tactics and must be defeated at all costs. Graeme
Guardianship should be vested on the Department of Conservation whereby all New Zealanders can have free access to coastal areas. The proceeds of mineral extraction should go into the governments coffers. All marine life taken can be done so in accordance with current regulations. Dennis
More Govt Racial discrimination and favourtism, Gets nauseating.. Ian
They (Maori) have always been exploiters not “guardians” when it comes to fishing. The pillaging of shell fish etc has been, and is still, horrendous by these “guardians” Stuart
Please ask these potential guardians what happened to the Moa and other species which have been hunted to extinction. These claims are a total load of BS. and should not be allowed to proceed. Shame on National and in particular Minister Finlayson for creating this opportunity for further division of New Zealand. Hopefully Finlayson will learn a lesson at the upcoming election? Chris
Comon, this has gone far too far already and needs to be stopped! Ian
Blame for this situation must be advertised namely Chris Finlayson, unelected list MP, National Party, and especially John Key ex PM and Bill English, current PM for allowing this attack on democracy. Rex
So much for the cry of “one country, one people”! Gary
The guardians should only be the elected government by the people so all New Zealand’s are protected. Brian
Most definitely not! Will they ever stop taking? Terry
Yet more drifting towards apartheid. I would only vote for a government or politician that actively opposes this process and accompanying legislation. Peter
When is this continual drivel going to stop .Lets get it clear their are no Maori left only part Maori and most of them claiming to be Maori have far more white blood in them than Maori . It has got to the extent they now have to tell you they are part Maori otherwise you wouldn’t know . What gives these part Maori the right to claim all theses special rights ? What great success can they point to ? The answer is none only failure . I note now that is our fault under the Treaty that the Maori drink too much . When will this rubbish ever stop ? Please can someone in power have the guts to stand up and tell them to stop being so stupid and if they have a drinking problem deal with it the same way the other 90 percent non part Maori have to . Jock
Absolutely Not. This land is for all New Zealander’s not just one privileged group. John
Ridiculous concept Ron
No way Alan
Maori are no better or less than allother NZ citizens. The Crown should hold all the coastline on behalf of all citizens. Maori are NOT tangata whenua they were migrants as we all are. Maureen 
NO WAY ! Just another attempt by Ngati Gimmee Gimmee to extort money from ordinary New Zealanders. These facts should be made public, Surely ther is a responsible journalist /newspaper who has the guts to do it! Kabe
Their record on environmental matters hardly supports such a claim. Les
If one is undecided about giving Maori guardianship over anything, just take a look at any coastal properties that Maori own now. Broken fences, rusty cars, pasture full of thistles, and ragwort, gorse, and blackberry. I really have no faith in Maori to look after anything. Lloyd
All New Zealanders should be considered as Guardians not just Maori Chris
Our shores do not require guarding as that ended with the Second World War. The only reason Maoris want to guard them is so that they can close most of them to all the rest of us, charge us entry fees, and prevent us from access for any recreational use and continue their call of gimme, gimme, gimme. They have no right of ownership especially to our National Parks like Abel Tasman. They failed to get what they wanted from the Labour Government 12 or so years ago so they are trying again and will keep on trying. They are like spoilt children who cannot understand what NO means. Chris
Why are the mainline media so silent on this issue? Keith
Why should Maori be so condsidered?? Are they as a group more likely than any other NZer to “guard” the environment. Historically this has been far from the case. Contemporary analysis will show that the total of those who pillage the inshore fishery and are prosecuted for this are Maori – several being “kaitiaki”. The whole proposition is preposterous, it would be like the inmates running the asylum! Come to think of ot aren’t they now?????? Andrew
They wouldn’t know where or how to start. Nor, under the famous treaty do they have any right to be a separate people. In addition to that, they are not the original inhabitants; they ate or enslaved them, and even their own oral history admits that fair skinned people were here when the maoris arrived. Alan
Was it not the Maori who hunted the Moa to extinction? No more special privileges for one group. John
Polynesian Maori have never been the guardians of anything but their own invented interests. David
The Iwi is just being greedy. They want the power and the money as a hand out. our elected gov’t and oppersition are useless they ust give in to the Maoris to keep in power. in years to come they will realise their mistake but it will be to late Tony
What happened to the Moa? Bruce
Pure greed and exploitation of costal resources to further fill the pockets of the maori elite is behind these claims. All they are guarding – read enhancing – is their personal wealth. Maurice
How can the government give away the majority of NZers rights and freedom to the coastal areas to one greedy so called guardian group. Anthony
They couldn’t even guard the old fashioned out house let alone the environment > They are selfish exploiters not guardians Bruce
Guardian of the environment, what a joke. Guardians of the prisons would be more like it. Graham
A democracy would and should have all New Zealanders responsible for the guardianship of our environment either through our elected representatives or ideally where appropriate via “Binding Referendum”. Guardianship should not be the right of any exclusive minority group. Gary
All New Zealanders should look after the environment, regardless of race or where they were born. Peter
NO! We are one people – New Zealanders. Anyway, look at their track record – the Moa is a testimonial to Maori “guardianship”. To put it in a nutshell – they are patently and simply after the loot. Ron
Too greedy Jasmine
Are you kidding!!! Every time someone is found taking fish unlawfully from Lake Rotorua, you can bet your bottom dollar they will be Maori! Sylvia
They are to self serving and can’t be trusted. Carl
Perhaps in name only. But not in any way where they have control over what goes on in the coastal and marine areas. Clearly they would require “koha” from any one seeking a resource consent within the areas. Tony
Maori claims are all about money and control.This government has bent over backwards to appease Maori and the elite at the expense of all other N Z rs and the end result will be power to a minority. Thankyou John Key and Chris Finlyson you and the National Government .Our current prime minister does not have the Balls to stop this evil situation so a minor Party has to take control like N Z First to unite New Zealand and get shot of all that is destroying freedom and democracy. Ken
We need people who have a good idea of the environment and the care which should be taken to ensure the coast, birds and fish are given the chance of survival and the same applies to all our land without exception. We with the govt are all responsible definitely not one individual group laying claim. Elizabeth
In answer to this question, ask the Moa. Maori have proved time and time again that they have no regard for the environment and will rape and plunder given half a chance. Ronmac
They are not .. but then, neither are most of the supporters of NZCPR who are more concerned with resource use than being guardians of the environment. Rochelle
MOST maori are VERY GREEDY & they want to control N.Z. & the national party is giving it to them-too bad if your just a kiwi national DOES,NT care about you. Cindy
Absolutely not!!!! Denis
I wonder when our courts, politicians, the Waitangi Tribunal, and the Maori groups who are making their claims will realise that the goal they are pursuing is the one that led to apartheid in South Africa – an evil, greedy, corrupt system that will destroy our community and ultimately, our nation. It’s time we all realised that none of us own the land or sea, we are only given the right to look after it. As has been said before, we don’t own the land, the land owns us. I don’t defend the colonising of New Zealand by the English either. Too many of them brought their English class system attitudes with them. We have been seeing the fallout ever since! So here we are, both Maori and pakeha – needing to accommodate each other and seeking together, what is best for all. We should all be equal guardians of the environment. John
NO to tribalism ! – it’s Grand Property Theft and your money also is private property ! The men who drafted these laws should be on trial NOW – it is civil war in the making !!! Don
Who wiped out the Moa? Every New Zealander should be considered a ‘guardian’. Terry
Never. What next? This BS has to be stopped!! Jim
“Guardians of the environment?” What a joke. It seems that the “maoris” in this country are being influenced by an elite group to make claims that are “fashionable” in todays PC minority driven climate. Unfortunately, the Govt of the day, who do not have a mandate to deal with these issues, is bowing to pressure all in the cause of retaining “POWER”. When are we going to get some honesty and thought for our country which will help progress to the future. The government is being fooled into looking backwards and condoning history to be rewritten with lies and fabrications by those it has mistakenly authorized. Neil
No way, it’s racist and disgusting that it should even be considered. Quentin
Ridiculous proposal. Pete
Definitely not given their hundreds of years of damaging history. No doubt there are many well-meaning elders but the qualities of avarice and personal advantage over the greater good are over represented in the tribal and racist claimant bodies. Gordon
View a Coast Watch t.v. programme and see who are the largest groups grossly breaching the fishing quotas Bryan
Under maori guardianship, prior to 1840, the maori managed to wipe out both the kiwi and the moa. I have no faith that their management style has changed one little bit . Frank
Good article this week. Thanks. William
Give me a break ! I know of many cases where our Maori friends’ take on guardianship of the environment is that money paid to them will solve all environmental concerns. Wah
Guardians??? They also claim to be the ‘original conservationists’ of New Zealand; my response: “Show me a moa”. They made them extinct in a very short time; what next? Whales, penuins, dolphins, orca or simply paua? Alan
Not under any circumstances. Paul
NZ has moved on from Victorian thinking on human rights, land ownership, health and it is time to do so on land rights ie equality for all NZes whatever the ethnicity of their ancestors. casn
What a joke to call them “Guardians of the environment” Kevin
The only thing that they are guardians of is their back pocket.How have we even got to this stage Ross
Haven’t seen any moas around lately, have you? Mitch
The problem is that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by true, fill-blooded Maori. Today vast sums and huge tracts of land are being given to those claiming Maoridom when they are part-Maori at best and are undeserving of any form of compensation as they are virtual foreigners. I secured Maori ststus with Ngati Whatua for my grandchildren despite the fact that theiir mother is 100% British and their father has only a small percentage of Maori blood. I am conviced that there are no full-blooded Maori left with any connection to the Treaty. Stop the leaching of so-called compensation NOW! John
Never ever, Maoris should keep hands off! Gerard
This whole idea is preposporous. Finlayson and English should be held account for this nonsense. IAN
Everyone is the guardian of the land they have while they are alive. Some look after it better than others. steven
I don’t think think they have a clue. Beryl
They never were it is all about money and greed. Dave
When will our elected government include all its citizens as guardians of the environment. This slippery slope we are speeding down can only end badly. These claims foster social division and distrust. Makes for a very uncertain future. Sherie
Cunning – cunning – cunning! Not long ago a Maori leader was caught with dead stolen Kereru (wood pigeons) stuffed inside his clothing! And then there is all the tribal infighting. Soon the English will be called back in to settle the next round of Maori wars – if they don’t ‘defeat’ us all out first. They are well on the way ….. ! Thank you National! Stuart
Another move towards paying through the nose! See Dane-guld for the historical precedent Barry
Tribal Groups only have one thing on their minds, free revenue. We are all Guardians of the environment. Geoff
Why pander to a bigotted minority group pushing spurious claims seeking racial favour ? Peter
We should all be guardians of NZ without financial reward. Leon
Does that mean everyone else are not, should not, do not need to be “guardians”? RICHard
All citizens need equal rights to the coast: this must NOT become discriminatory. Diane
Maori were responsible for the extinction of 10 species of Moa, 46 other bird species and most of the seals and dolphins. Polynesians left a trail of destruction across the Pacific denuding the natural recourses of every island they occupied. Robert
National party’s death wish, surely? John
Certainly not, we are all responsible for the environment. They are only in it for the money. Les
‘Guardianship” basically means preventing anyone else but themselves, from using or enjoying the area in question, once they get control – unless of course there is some sort of financial consideration involved. The only thing they “guard” is their own self-interest. For the sake of future generations, this cannot be allowed to happen. Scott
They are not Guardians they are just trying to get as much as they can for their own financial ends. Ian
At the claim for the Piont England reserve which is a nesting place of protected birds the Maori comment was that people are more important than birds. Arthur
Equal laws for all NZers; and equal policing of those laws. Justice for all. Eric
NZ is for every NZer NOT just Maoris.They cannot look after themselves and their children,we cannot trust them with the environment. Peter
Explain Moa extinction by the Maori to me. Gary
You gotta be joking …. sadly you are not. John
Of course not Bruce
We should have moved on from race based privelidges by now.There are more unbiased groups than Maori to manage a resource like this for all nzers. Selwyn
No way they cannot look after their immediate surroundings much less a whole country,, just look around the town areas where part maori settle to see the result of the so called care. James
They believe their own bulls–t this lot of so called guardians. The only thing they will protect is their own advantage over the rest of New Zealanders. Mike
Absolutely in no way should these Maori activists have any control whatsoever over the coastline, seabed etc. It is not in the Treaty. They are just greedy money orientated knowing soft governments will agree to their outrageous demands. Frank
Race-based political decisions are in total contradiction of our democratic principles.. Our democracy is at serious risk. Bill
This could lead to major civil unrest Bryan
They have no more nor less responsibility than all Kiwis. Differentiating simple moves a step closer to apartheid. Kelvin
Maori record of guardianship is sadly lacking. The only interest is in money. Graham
It is extremely racist to think that because of accident of birth people have certain characteristics that would enable to them to have a better appreciation of nature.  Roger
These part-maori have no more rights than the rest off us New Zealanders. maoris were never a race of people they are a people of many bloods. the word maori means “normal, usual or ordinary” Ian Ian
Never!! Donald
Hell NO. If it hadn’t been for foreign intervention maori would not only have exhausted the natural food sources in NZ, wiping out most edible fauna, but also, over time, eaten most of their own. Alan
Definitely not! The maori can’t even look after their own children, let alone a bl–dy coastline. They would rape it completely with in their eyes they can do anything with, impunity. This current Government are treasonous to the ordinary people, and they have to go. No Government or person should be able to give away so much to a minority with a very loud mouth. National have gone to far with this and along Finlayson should go to hell. Frank
Definitely not! Greedy Iwi are just destroying NZ and want control over all our lives. Greedy Iwi don’t care about their fellow part Maori, just use them as political pawns. Kay
It is high time to put an end to this nonsense. Morrin
Their past record of environmental concerns is abysmal. They’re the very worst of rapers and pillagers in this regard. That’s akin to asking the fox to mind the chickens in the coop. Tony
NO,NO,NO !! It would be like putting the patients in charge of their asylum. Darryl
Risible. My experience of Maori in the B o I suggests the contrary. Protecting the environment is a universal imperative and not confined to any ethnic or social group Graham
Race based ideas again! John
What happened to one people. Allen
Their record on conservation is abysmal. Think of the Moa! This is outright opportunism. Willy
Winston is our ONLY hope. Vote NZ First Brett
Look at all the trees they removed at Balmoral forest to make room for profit making cows, their excretement running straight into the Hurunui river. Ross
They can call themselves what they like, as long as it carries no legal weight. The self-styled title of ‘tangata whenua’ is annoying but, as it is essentially meaningless, we shouldn’t fret about it. What really matters is whether or not the Maori push for preferential treatment is given statutory power by the government. And I don’t think it will be, because New Zealand First will hold the whip hand after the election. It’s worth recalling the surge in support for National after Don Brash’s now notorious Orewa speech; there’s a huge groundswell of opposition to Maori special treatment, that is held by the silent majority; they tend not to voice it, but in the privacy of the election booth, it will reveal itself. Bill English will get the shock of his life on the day after the election, because he, and so many of his pro-Maori fellow travellers, live in a delusional world. It’s time to come back to reality: the time for race-based privilege is over. Graham
They can’t look after themselves. Mike
They want the coast for monetary gain and so they can kill and eat the wild life. Murray
Not remotely qualified. Chris
The people, ALL the people should be the guardians of the environment. Tracy
Stop this gravy train. Maoris will claim everything at this rate. Kevin
Definitely not they can’t look after anything they own. John
Look at the past and see what they have done with their land, nothing! More money for the Maori elders. Peter
“yeah right” Richard
How often do we see Maori defendants in court for fishery offences and we are asked to favour them as guardians? Next we’ll be putting criminals in charge of the police!! Bruce
Absolutely NOT !!! It’s time for us to ALL GET REAL and UNITE and reinforce the concept that we are ONE NATION, of many different ORIGINS, but ALL KIWIS with EQUAL RIGHTS. James
Absolutely not. William
Who are the biggest offenders for recreational over fishing???? Anne
What a joke, they can’t even look after themselves even after all the ” compensations and racially targeted handouts! Max
No they can’t look after what they already have. Peter
NO no no no! Nigell
Just look at their living environments. Ask the moa. Terry
Ask any fisheries officer. Hilary
False ownership claims, masquerading as guardianship, … nice try at more profit for lazy Maoris. John
Another trough for the few. Neville
Any thing to do with maori turns to gorse.or holding there hand out for money. Swampy
Ridiculous!!!!! Andy
Enough is enough. we are all guardians of the environment. Graeme
One land, one people! Laurie
Will lead to civil disobedience if IWI continues down this path. Time to introduce policies of “Eminent Domain” a convenient instrument to override fictitious land claims and legal shenanigans. Norman
Again I say why dose Maori have to guardians of this and that in New Zealand when we can all work together to be guardians of our country NZ. Why dose it just have to be Maori only. Governments in this country have gone mad over Maori this and Maori that. Maori have never been good guardians of New Zealand and even today it shows that. Just look at the way Maori take shell fish and other things they do. Stop this Maori bull shit. Robert
Absolutely not. At times they appear to be the worst rapists of our marine environment and in any case there should not be preferential racist rules and regulations. Dump the Waitangi Tribunal and make N.Z. great again Mike
They would exploit every thing for money to go to their own blundering use and loose control and sell it to overseas. Jim
They cant look after what they have now and they will just rape and pillage and blame the rest of NZ. Colin
Never! Never!! Never!!! Thanks so much John Key, you sure knew when to get out of politics after being the creator of this disgusting mess! Gordy
Of course not. Utter rubbish. Money and Power are their only interests Laurie
What has happening to all NZers rights Enough is enough . We must stop the Rot .Maori in charge our coastal areas No way. Ian
No they can’t even guard their children from harm so why would they be trusted with this and why in heavens name should the rest of us fund their greedy self serving applications Phil
I have a beachfront holiday house in the far north and, judging by the local Maori who park their cars and “picnic” under the trees across the road from my place on weekends and public holidays, it’s an insult to any normal persons intelligence to suggest that Maori have one ounce (milligram) of concern about the environment. The used disposable diapers, empty beer cans/bottles, plastic bags, used bongs and other disgusting refuse that is too often carelessly left behind for others to clean-up is testament to “Maori Guardianship”. National have lost my vote for 2017 on this one issue alone. NZ First are our only hope of ensuring public ownership of our coasts and seabeds. Steve
Those claiming Maori heritage have no greater right to make this claim than any other citizen of New Zealand. Whilst I have no empirical data to support my claim, intuitively I would say that as many species disappeared during Maori colonisation as have disappeared since the arrival and settlement by Europeans. To give one group of citizens based upon their ethnicity, guardianship over matters that equally important to all citizens irrespective of their antecedents is undemocratic, divisive and an abrogation of the rights of all non-Maori heritage citizens. Yet another attempt to promote co-governance based upon those with Maori lineage and the rest of New Zealand’s citizenry Please oh please, one authority, one law and equal rights available to all New Zealanders. Who is going to be New Zealand’s Oliver Cromwell? Michael
Of course, not. John
Absolutely not! Look what they do to wood pigeons if they think they can get away with it. They are exploiters not conservationists. Andrew
This is just a big myth. Colin
Maori groups are not guardians but their PR machine is very effective and gullible politicians seem to swallow the BS! Vera
No way are they guardians. Just look at what they are claiming in the foreshore and seabed. All they want to do is exploit the area. But their supporters paint a different picture and the media in particular seems to buy into the myth. Jeremy
They should have no greater rights than anyone else and that includes guardianship and conservation rights. Laurie